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Chapter 29 – Customs union

Chapter 29 – Customs union

Negotiations in Chapter 29 – Customs union were officially opened At the Intergovernmental Conference on Accession of Montenegro to the European Union, held on 16 December 2014.

Since its establishment on 1 July, 1968, the Customs Union is one of the cornerstones of European integration and a key component of the well functioning of the internal European market. It represents a single customs area of 28 EU member states where the total internal trade turnover of goods between member states is performed, without customs formalities, the inspection over the goods and collection of customs duties.

Regarding trade relations with third countries, the valid principle is that all goods entering this area are subject to uniform rules of control and collection of prescribed tariffs. The prescribed customs duties are based on a common customs tariff and common and harmonized customs legislation for the application of this tariff, which determines foreign policy towards third countries.

The European Union determines the level of its import duties on the basis of international agreements, mainly those concluded within the Customs Cooperation Council and the World Trade Organization. With certain countries, such as the members of the European Economic Area - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, the European Union has concluded agreements that allow duty-free access to certain products or imports of these products at a reduced price.

The national customs services of the EU Member States are in charge of the day-to-day operational implementation of the EU's customs policy. They collect customs duties, excise taxes and value added tax on imported products from third countries, and take care of respecting import quotas and other restrictions. Customs fees are one of the sources of revenue for the EU budget, in the way that Member States retain 25% of the revenues from collection of customs duties in their budget, while the remaining 75% is paid into the EU budget.

Member States also coduct appropriate customs controls at the external borders of the Union for the purpose of combating all forms of smuggling, organized crime, terrorism, money laundering, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights, the protection of health and consumer safety and the preservation of the environment.


In the European Union, the territory of the customs union is legally regulated by regulations that are directly applicable in the entire territory of the Union (in all Member States), and these regulations will be applied directly to Montenegro in the full membership.

Customs officers will be responsible for ensuring the application of European Union rules on environmental protection and consumer safety, for example for monitoring the movement of contaminated foodstuffs and their return to the country of origin. It will also monitor whether certain products, for example, electrical appliances, meet the standard required for placement on the EU internal market.

The Customs Administration has already undertaken significant and very extensive activities to strengthen the customs service, as well as the development and construction of a whole range of information systems from the European concept of "e-customs", which must be fully operational on the day of accession to the European Union.

Price reduction

On the day of membership in the Union, Montenegrin citizens will be able to buy quality products from any member state of the Union, at significantly lower prices than today. Customs Union is a unique trade area in which all goods freely circulate, regardless of whether it was produced in the European Union or imported from third countries. This means that, for example, electronic devices manufactured in one of the EU Member States can thus be delivered to Montenegro without customs clearance and any customs controls, while, for example, customs duties on a product which is imported from a non-member country of the European Union Union, pays for its first entry into the European Union, and thereafter there are no additional customs duties or additional checks within the Union.

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