customs union

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Customs union

An agreement by two or more countries to erect a common external tariff and to abolish restrictions on trade among members.

Customs Union

A market with the free movement of goods, services, labor, and capital between two or more jurisdictions. For example, even though Texas and Oklahoma are different places with different governments and regulations, the two have a customs union because workers do not need permission to move between them and one may transfer money between them without incurring any tariffs or fees. Most often, however, a customs union refers to a union between two or more countries, not regions within the same country. For example, the European Union is a customs union. See also: Free trade.

customs union


customs union

a form of TRADE INTEGRATION between a number of countries in which members eliminate all trade barriers (TARIFFS, etc.) amongst themselves on goods and services, and establish a uniform set of barriers against trade with the rest of the world, in particular a common external tariff. The aim of a customs union is to secure the benefits of international SPECIALIZATION AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE, thereby improving members’ real living standards. See GAINS FROM TRADE, TRADE CREATION, EUROPEAN UNION, MERCOSUR.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is well known from Kemp and Wan (1976) that under customs union an increase in group welfare can occur without affecting that of the rest of the world whenever the common external tariff is positioned in a way so as to offset exactly the terms of trade and export quantity effects felt by it.
As a result of the customs union the non-union country when compared relative to the tariff equilibrium will be better off.
In the case of the customs union we consider three cases.