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UK-EU Relations

This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What is the difference between a customs union and the customs union?

The difference is essentially the range and depth of co-operation that exists in terms of trading goods. At its most basic, a customs union involves charging the same tariffs on goods from outside the union and removing tariffs on goods moving within it. Turkey has a customs union with the EU for industrial but not agricultural goods. The customs union of the EU is a more comprehensive set of arrangements, including exchanging information and collecting data, as well as trading goods tariff free. The UK will leave the EU customs union at the end of transition. It has also made clear that it does not want to form a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

Find out more – read our explainer on the EU’s customs union.

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