The EU market
The EU is a Customs Union - its 27 member countries form a single territory for customs purposes.
This means that
- no customs duties are paid on goods moving between EU Member States
- EU Member States apply a common customs tariff for goods imported from outside the EU
- goods that have been legally imported can circulate throughout the EU with no further customs checks.
Businesses in and outside the EU benefit from
- a market for their products of over 400 million consumers
- easier access to a wide range of suppliers and consumers
- lower unit costs
- greater commercial opportunities.
The 27 Member States of the EU form a single territory for customs purposes. This implies that the EU is a Customs Union, meaning that its Member States have no customs duty barriers between themselves and they all have a common customs tariff for imported goods. Moreover, once customs duties have been duly paid and compliance with import conditions has been inspected, imported goods are free to circulate within the rest of the EU without any further customs controls.
The Customs Territory of the Union includes the territories of the following Member States:
- the Czech Republic,
- Denmark, except the Faroe Islands and Greenland,
- Germany, except the Island of Heligoland and the territory of Büsingen,
- Spain, except Ceuta and Melilla,
- France, except New Caledonia, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna Islands, French Polynesia and French Southern and Antarctic Territories, but including the overseas departments of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion Islands,
- Italy, except the municipalities of Livigno and Campione d'Italia and the national waters of Lake Lugano which are between the bank and the political frontier of the area between Ponte Tresa and Porto Ceresio,
- Cyprus (pending a settlement to the Cyprus problem, the application of the Community 'acquis' is suspended in those areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control),
- the Netherlands in Europe,
- the Slovak Republic,
The territory of the principality of Monaco, including its territorial waters, inland maritime waters and airspace, situated outside the territory of the Member States, shall also be considered to be part of the customs territory of the Community.
The EU market is also about
- legislative framework - to improve the internal market for goods and strengthen the conditions for placing a wide range of products on the EU market, a new legislative framework was adopted in 2008
- building blocks of single market - legislation on the single market for goods aims to ensure that products placed on the EU market meet high health, safety and environmental requirements - products allowed to be sold in the EU can circulate without barriers to trade and with a minimum of administrative burden
- free movement in harmonised and non-harmonised sectors - the principle of free movement of goods ensures that these provisions do not lead to the creation of unjustified barriers to trade
- international aspects of the single market - through its relations with non-member countries, the EU tries to ensure the best possible conditions for international trade in regulated products
Guidance on EU product rules
- comprehensive guidance on the implementation of EU product rules can be found in the so-called Blue Guide
- the application of treaty provisions governing the free movement of goods.