Taxation and Customs Union

Common and Union transit

Common transit

The common transit procedure is used for the movement of goods between the 28 EU Member States, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), Turkey (since 1 December 2012), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (since 1 July 2015) and Serbia (since 1 February 2016).  The procedure is based on the Convention of 20 May 1987 on a common transit procedure. The Convention was amended on 5 December 2017 by the EU/EFTA Joint Committee Decision No 1/2017 in order to be aligned with the Union Customs Code. The rules are effectively identical to those of the Union transit.

Union transit

This procedure is used for customs transit operations between the EU Member States (and Andorra and San Marino) and is in general applicable to the movement of non-Union goods for which customs duties and other charges at import are at stake, and of Union goods, which, between their point of departure and point of destination in the EU, have to pass through the territory of a third country.

The rules are set out in the Union Customs Code. See the UCC information pages.

Transit Manual

The Transit Manual is the most comprehensive source of information on the common and the Union transit procedure. As such, the manual is a tool to promote a better understanding of how the transit procedure works and the roles of the various participants. It is also a tool to better ensure a harmonised application of the transit provisions and an equal treatment of all operators.

The manual is presented in nine main parts as follows:

  • Part I. General Introduction
  • Part II. Status of Goods
  • Part III. Guarantees
  • Part IV: Standard transit procedure NCTS (new computerised transit system)
  • Part V: Fallback procedure
  • Part VI: Simplifications
  • Part VII: Discharge of the transit operation, the enquiry procedure
  • Part VIII: Debt and Recovery
  • Part IX. The TIR Procedure

The following amendments are published in the form of supplements which will be inserted in the next consolidated version of the Transit Manual.

Practical information

Transit Network Address Book

The book contains the addresses of national co-ordinators and approximately 400 regional and local transit liaison officers. Part of its role is to allow regular dialogue with the operators at the national and local levels, and to facilitate their contacts with the Customs services over all aspects of the operation of the transit regimes.

Transit Customs Offices Database
NCTS MRN Follow-up information
Guide Authorised Regular Shipping Service (will be updated)
Guide to Customs Procedures in Short Sea Shipping (will be updated)