by Verena Alvez-Mesa
Mercosur as an economic association of the contracting states Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in the form of a customs union is becoming increasingly important worldwide. In order to be competitive in the age of steadily increasing globalisation, a customs union needs a legal basis in addition to the economic and political framework. An important pillar of a customs union is a uniform and globally competitive customs law that meets the requirements of today's economic life. On the one hand, it must guarantee fast and efficient customs clearance so that trade is not burdened with time-consuming formalities and, on the other hand, it must also take into account the security aspects which are becoming increasingly important in international world trade. In terms of international importance, it should also comply with the World Customs Organisation's guidelines on the simplification and harmonisation of world trade.