Customs Union

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Related to Customs Union: Common Market, Economic union

Customs Union


an association of states organized to coordinate tariff policy. Among capitalist countries, customs unions are created by bilateral or multilateral agreements that regulate tariffs in order to encourage the sale of goods produced by member countries and to discriminate against outside countries. As a rule, member states do away with tariff barriers within the union and create a common customs territory with a standard external customs duty. Contemporary customs unions pursue a policy of collective monopolistic protectionism. Although they sometimes moderate this policy, the customs unions of imperialist powers often employ “nontariff’ barriers, for example, stricter customs formalities, health and quarantine requirements, and marking regulations and increased import duties and fees.

Customs unions were first organized in the 19th century. One of the first was the union established in 1865 by France and Monaco. In 1924 a customs union was formed by Switzerland and the principality of Liechtenstein. Customs unions of highly developed countries have been established by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (1947) and the treaty of the European Economic Community (Common Market, 1957), which provided for the elimination of all trade restrictions between member countries and the introduction of an overall customs tariff in external trade. The convention forming the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, 1960) provided for the abolition of customs duties and quantitative trade restrictions between member countries and the retention of customs tariffs in external trade. However, members of the Common Market and the EFTA still use various customs regulations and have not standardized duties for external trade. In 1959 customs unions were established by the West African countries of the Ivory Coast, Dahomey (present-day Benin), Upper Volta, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal and the Central African countries of the People’s Republic of the Congo, Gabon, the Central African Republic (the present-day Central African Empire), and Chad.

Socialist countries do not have customs unions. The USSR concluded agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance in tariff policy with Hungary in 1958 and Poland in 1960. In 1962 member countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) signed a multilateral agreement on mutual assistance and cooperation in tariff policy that standardized documentation, freight registration, and transportation and postal regulations. In 1965 the customs offices of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the USSR signed an agreement on the simplification and standardization of customs registration of freight for fairs and exhibitions and freight shipped by motor vehicle. Such agreements facilitate transportation, prevent violations of customs legislation, and help strengthen the world socialist market.


References in periodicals archive ?
Ukraine will be able to persuade Russia and countries of Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in the benefits from the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and European Union and creation of the FTA with the EU.
Although the entry of Tajikistan in the Customs Union is possible only after the accession of Kyrgyzstan for obvious reasons, the question is already topical," he said.
Nobody forces Kyrgyzstan to enter the Customs Union, the Minister added.
Domestic production recession due to lower competitiveness with other Customs Union countries was referred to among other negative economic implications of the entry into the Customs Union.
Free transit of goods within the Customs Union countries will reduce costs of foreign trade and will create favorable conditions for wholesale markets of the country, Minister Sariyev stressed.
A series of roundtable discussions and conferences will be held with participation of civil society activists, business associations, entrepreneurs to discuss advantages and risks of entry of the country into the Customs Union.
Accession into the Customs Union primarily meets interests of Kyrgyzstan, the Minister stressed.
The main objective of ITSM3 is to ensure IT service continuity, through a standardised catalogue of services, continuously adapted in response to DG Taxation and Customs Union evolving business and policy needs.
For those who would like to understand the importance and impacts of the customs union for the Turkish economy, I would recommend the report "Evaluation of the EU-Turkey customs union," drafted by the World Bank for the EU Commission and the Turkish government on March 28, 2014.
The Russian central bank is said to be planning to implement a united payment system for the customs union.
The meeting discusses the report of the GCC General Secretariat on the completion of the requirements of the Customs Union and the latest developments on the mechanism of distributing customs proceeds to the GCC member states.
Summary: The UAE is eager to see the full launch of the GCC Customs Union by early 2015 after the removal of all hiccups.