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 is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the customs duties; it operates in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Finance.
Customs Union as an integral part of the European Union
The basis for the European Union is the Customs Union, which applies to 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. Member States are entitled to withhold as collection fees a portion of customs duties they have collected. The currently valid decision of the European Council sets the collection fee at 25%. For the 2014–2020 budgeting period, the collection fee will be retrospectively reduced to 20%, beginning from 1 January 2014, once Member States have concluded their national approval procedures.
Cooperation between customs administrations
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.
Director of Customs Unit