Customs

Photo: Michael Jönsson / Gorilla.

Customs taxation and procedures are an integral part of the European Union. Customs duties are based on common customs legislation which has mainly replaced the national customs legislations of the EU Member States; in fact, the field of customs activities is the most integrated part of EU-level administration. The Finnish Customs operates within the administrative branch of the Ministry of Finance and is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of customs duties in Finland.

Customs Union as an integral part of the European Union

The Customs Union, which will be 50 years old in 2018, is an example of successful integration within the European Union. The conditions created by the Customs Union enabled the internal market to be established and provided a stable foundation for economic integration and growth.

The Customs Union applies to all trade of goods. The Customs Union applies a common customs tariff, which is applied to countries outside the EU, also known as third countries. Goods move freely in trade between the countries that are members of the Customs Union, i.e. in the internal market. This means that all export and import duties and other charges with the same effect are prohibited.

Income from customs duties is a part of EU's traditional own resources. In 2015, the income from customs duties accounted for 13.6% of these EU resources. Member States are entitled to withhold as collection fees 20% of the customs duties they collect.

Cooperation between customs administrations

Customs adminstrations have an important role within the European Union in monitoring and facilitating international trade, as well as protecting economic interests and society at large.

The customs administrations of the EU Member States cooperate in order to ensure that national and EU law is followed. In addition, the customs authorities of the member states cooperate with other law enforcement authorities to combat crime across borders, such as fraud.

The EU Customs Union also cooperates with the customs administrations of third countries in customs issues. International treaties with EU as one party have been signed and will be signed to form a basis for the cooperation.

Finland also draws up treaties with countries outside the EU on bilateral customs cooperation. The purpose of the treaties is to combat customs offences and ensure that the customs legislation is applied correctly.

Finnish Customs

Taxation and Customs Union on Commission website

World Customs Organization