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The Customs Union, characterised by an absence of internal borders, is an essential foundation of the European Union (EU) which applies to all trade of goods (Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The customs duties on imports and exports, as well as charges having equivalent effect between Member States, are forbidden. At external borders, the Common Customs Tariff, along with the Integrated Tariff (TARIC), is applied to goods from third countries. Goods moving freely within the Union comply with the rules of the internal market and with certain provisions of the Common Commercial Policy. In addition, instruments such as the Community Customs Code ensure that Member States’ customs authorities apply the standards uniformly.
The Customs Union, initiated by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, was established on 1 July 1968. Its mechanisms have essentially evolved to adapt to new technologies and to ensure greater security, particularly with regard to protection against counterfeiting and piracy.

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