Customs union

What is a Customs Union?

A customs union is an agreement between two or more countries to reduce or eliminate trade barriers, such as tariffs and import quotas, and to harmonize their external trade regulations. This type of agreement is intended to promote free trade between the countries and to encourage economic cooperation.

Benefits of a Customs Union

A customs union can provide numerous benefits for the countries involved. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Increased trade and investment between the countries
  • Reduced trade costs for businesses
  • Reduced tariffs for consumers
  • Increased economic growth and development
  • Reduced dependency on imported goods

Examples of Customs Unions

One of the most well-known customs unions is the European Union (EU). The EU was formed in 1957 as an economic and political partnership between the member states. The primary purpose of the EU is to promote free trade and economic cooperation between its member states. Another example of a customs union is the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The SADC was established in 1992 and consists of 15 African countries. The primary goals of the SADC are to promote economic integration and cooperation, as well as to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development in the region.


Customs unions can provide numerous benefits to the countries involved, including increased trade, reduced tariffs, and increased economic growth and development. There are numerous examples of customs unions, such as the European Union and the Southern African Development Community.