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What is importation?

The word 'importation' commonly refers to the bringing of goods into a customs territory. However this term is not used to describe the customs procedure relating to the clearance of goods brought into the customs territory of the Community.

The procedure allowing third country goods to circulate freely throughout the Community in the same way as goods made in the Community is called release for free circulation.

From a customs point of view the release for free circulation changes the status of non-Community goods to Community goods and entails the completion of all formalities laid down for importation.