Press Release: 50th Anniversary of the EU Customs Union

This year, the European Union is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the EU Customs Union.
Tomorrow, the 12th of July,the Minister for Finance Prof Edward Scicluna will be joining other Ministers of Finance from all Member States, together with the Directors General (Customs) of the respective member states, at the Berlaymont, in Brussels, to sign the Customs Union Charter to celebrate this event.
The Customs Union, set up in 1968 is a unified area wherein people and goods circulate freely within its borders.  This means that no custom duties and checks are carried out a the border of EU countries.  National Customs services in all EU countries work together as one to manage the day-to-day operations of the Customs Union.   The Customs Union is also an important source of revenue for the European Union through the collection of customs duties.
28 EU Member States, Monaco and British territories (Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey) use a common set of rules, called the Union Customs Code. They manage one single system for handling the import, export and transit of goods. All members collaborate to set the same tariffs for goods from other countries.
Over 114,000 customs officers work around the clock at airports, border crossings, ports, inland customs offices or customs laboratories. They prevent illegal and/or dangerous goods from entering the EU, while keeping legitimate trade flowing.   There are 90 state-of-the-art customs laboratories in the EU that play an important role in combating illegal trafficking and fraud, and protecting against unsafe or dangerous products. Some laboratories specialise in certain types of analysis, e.g. toy safety.
The success of the Customs Union is a clear example of how the principles of harmonisation and solidarity are of benefit to all Member States.