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The Customs Union is an essential foundation of the European Union (EU) and has been in place since 1968. It means that borders are abolished between member countries in relation to the trade of all goods (Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Between member countries customs duties, or charges having a similar effect, are forbidden.

At external borders, the Common Customs Tariff, along with the Integrated Tariff (TARIC), are applied to goods from non-EU countries. Goods moving freely within the EU must comply with the rules of the internal market and with certain provisions of the Common Commercial Policy. In addition, the Community and Union Customs Codes ensure that Member States’ customs authorities apply the rules uniformly.