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European Customs Law

The European Union (EU) was originally created as customs union. The customs law of the EU is directly applicable in all Member States and binds national customs administrations, companies and citizens. The European economy forms part of the global supply chain by which goods are imported or exported. All consignments crossing EU borders are subject to customs controls.
The course illustrates how customs’ function has changed from revenue collection to border security. Owing to trade agreements and autonomous tariff suspensions, the revenues from customs duties are declining; however, controls connected to the movements of goods are increasing. This is explained by the fact that customs instruments aim to ensure fair competition by e.g. combating unfair commercial practices. Customs controls also guarantee the national security interests of states and the safety of their populations by preventing illegal imports and exports.
The course clarifies the complex customs rules and explains how to apply the various customs procedures. It teaches students the ins and outs of European customs law with reference to the EU Customs Code. The students will learn how to apply European law using case studies and familiarise themselves with the European Court’s most important decisions on customs law. They will identify themes relating to the global movement of goods and be able to transfer their knowledge of European law to other jurisdictions.