For a number of products, a reduction of the customs duty payable is allowed for limited quantities of imports. This limitation takes the form of tariff quotas. Tariff quotas may apply to imports of a specified origin, normally within the framework of preferential tariff arrangements, or to imports of all origins.
As the Community is a customs union, tariff quotas are managed centrally by the Commission. Taxation and Customs Union DG performs this management in the Commission's name, except in the case of tariff quotas managed by import licence, in which case the management is normally the responsibility of Agriculture DG.
The database for tariff quotas on the EUROPA web-site displays the balances of each tariff quota applicable in the present year and in the past year. It also indicates certain other important information, such as the date when a particular tariff quota is exhausted. This information is subject to constant change as a result of the daily operations which take place. The information on the EUROPA web-site is taken on the evening of each working day and is therefore correct at that time. It remains on the web-site until the evening of the following working day .