Intra-European Customs Fees


In brief, on intra-European customs fees, there’re no customs duties that you must pay when purchasing goods from within the European Union.

Customs duties are taxes on goods imported from third countries into the European Union (EU). Since the European Union is also a customs union, no customs duty is collected from the movement of goods between member countries. Member states are responsible for the administration and collection of customs duties. The EU is entitled to customs revenue, which is one of the few direct sources of revenue. In addition, import duties toward non-EU countries are a central tool of the EU’s standard commercial policy.

On March 25, 1957, six countries united to form the European Economic Community, thus laying the foundations of today’s European Union. This is a confederation of states that currently covers 28 countries and affects our lives differently. For example, when traveling within the EU, nationals of member states are freed from visas and complex entry procedures. They can also benefit from special customs regulations within the EU.

But which customs regulations apply within the EU? Are there any fees? Does the legislator impose restrictions on the import of goods? Can there be sanctions in case of violation of customs regulations within the EU? Keep reading for the answer to your questions!

Import Sales Tax

Regarding customs duty for Europe, when goods are imported from third countries, import sales tax is charged in addition to customs duties and excise duties. Import sales tax largely corresponds to sales tax (also known as value-added tax) levied on the consumption or sale of goods and deliveries of services domestically or within the European Union.

This import duty aims to prevent imported goods from reaching the end consumer without sales tax. Therefore, goods that are exempt from the exporting country’s sales tax are subject to the importing country’s import sales tax.

Customs tax calculation formula

download : Calculation-of-Customs-Duty

Customs Procedures Within the EU: Are There Any Fees?

For example, you usually don’t have to pay any fees if you bring souvenirs, clothing, or electronics to Germany from a holiday in Spain, France, or Poland. Due to the customs union, you can import goods within the EU duty-free for your private use.

It may vary according to the product, up to the amount for particular purposes. For this reason, the limit values ​​were determined as a guide. Customs within the EU define a complimentary amount for the following goods, among others:

  • Alcohol
  • Plate
  • Coffee

You must declare at check-in that the travel allowance has been exceeded. If you don’t, the authorities may consider it tax evasion. This offense can result in fines or imprisonment of up to five years. Failure of passengers to declare cash over 10,000 Euros may result in penalties of up to 1,000,000 Euros.

Note: There is no customs clearance in the case of a commercial import. Therefore, there is no need for any customs papers. However, since there is no value-added tax harmonization between member countries, purchase tax is charged instead of import tax within the EU.

Customs Special Regulations: There’re Exceptions in Europe!

Europe and the EU are often placed on equal footing in everyday life. However, not all countries on the continent are also members of the confederation of states. There’re also national territories that belong to EU member states but aren’t covered by the EU’s customs territory. Travel requirements from third countries also apply to holidaymakers from such a region. This means that you can also use customs duties within the EU in such a case.

But for which destinations within the EU can customs duty be charged? You can take a look at some examples in the list below:

  • Aruba (Netherlands)
  • Heligoland (Germany)
  • Faroe Islands (Denmark)
  • Greenland (Denmark)
  • Sint Maarten (Netherlands)

There’re also areas where uniform customs regulations in the EU apply but don’t belong to the tax area for excise duties and value-added tax. Third-country conditions also apply when entering these regions. In case the exemption limits are exceeded, the customs authorities collect the import sales tax for these travel destinations as follows:

  • Åland (Finland)
  • Saint Martin (France)
  • Canary Islands (Spain)
  • Martinique (France)
  • Guadeloupe (France)
  • Reunion (France)

The examples above show that customs can also charge fees within the EU. Therefore, passengers should inform in advance of applicable regulations and travel allowances.

Intra-European Customs Fees FAQ

Are There Customs Fees in the EU?

No, as a rule, customs don’t charge any fees for imports within the EU.

Are There Any Customs Requirements Within the EU?

Yes, there’re limits for imports of private goods. The relevant travel allowances for alcohol, tobacco, and coffee have been defined.

Are There Customs Controls for Parcels in the EU?

In principle, postal shipments within the EU can also be checked by customs. Opening the package is allowed, among other things, to check whether the payload contains prohibited goods.

I have been working as a copywriter and copywriter for about seven years. I do copywriting by working with national and local brands. I produce content in collaboration with various professionals at I write scripts and translate them into appropriate languages.

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