About this site

This year, the European Customs Union celebrates its 40th anniversary. On 1 July 1968, all customs duties and restrictions were lifted between the EU’s six founder-members (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) and a common customs tariff was introduced. This was a giant step on the way to achieving the EU’s four freedoms we enjoy today: free movement of goods, services, people and money.

This internet site is aimed at explaining and highlighting the crucial tasks customs perform at the external borders of the European Union. Targeted checks enable them to protect you against fake products, unsafe toys, unhealthy food and chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs. Furthermore, the Customs Union helps to reduce cumbersome border formalities, make customs procedures faster and cheaper whilst enhancing the security of international trade in goods. In addition, customs policy at the European level plays a critical role: it helps our businesses to be more competitive and our citizens to find more and better jobs.

More specifically, the site on "40 years European Customs Union" offers background information on customs' roles – past, present and future. Moreover, it explains customs policies such as the fight against counterfeiting and the control of trade in drug precursors. You may find useful information on travelling, photos highlighting various aspects of customs work as well as links to further information.

A language selection menu is available on each page on the top right corner. The language coverage strikes a balance between the nature of its content, the main target audiences and the human/financial resources available.

The information is subject to a disclaimer, a copyright notice and rules related to personal data protection. Read more.

We hope you will enjoy discovering the multiple roles of customs. If you have any question or want to comment do not hesitate to contact us.

European Commission
Taxation and Customs Union Directorate General
Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200
B-1049 Brussels