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The Community Customs Tariff

by Dr. Anna Judith Kaiser

The Community Customs Tariff comprises much more than only sections and classes of products in the schedule of customs duties: fFor example, it has played an important part in the European process of (economic) integration by contributing helping to establish a powerful and credible trading unit. Furthermore, it can be used as an economic political instrument against competitive pressure. Finally, the Community Customs Tariff serves as a judicial political instrument.
From a structural perspective, though however, it contains atypical elements compared to other legal provisions. This is due to the fact that it does not consist of articles but on the one hand of an extensive nomenclature (for the Community Customs Tariff the so-called “Combined Nomenclature”) on the one hand and on the other hand of tariff rates on the other. The nomenclature itself provides for a catalogue of headings including diverse categories of goods that are arranged in sections containing chapters. Thereby the Community Customs Tariff establishes the relationship between a financial burden and a specific product and hence gives answer to the question of the respective amount of the tariff burden.
All these (and further) specific elements characterize the Community Customs Tariff and the use of it. Therefore, the research project analyses the Community Customs Tariff, in particular its structure as a legal norm, its characteristics and the risks its application being involvesd by its application.

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