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The EU Member States implement a Common Trade Policy in their foreign economic relations. It is formulated in Article 133 of the Treaty of the European Community (TEC). The new version of this Article of TEC from the Treaty of Nice (2000) expanded the powers of the EU in the areas of services and intellectual property. In parallel, the opportunities for making of decisions by the Community were limited, by introducing the requirement for unanimity when adopting internal orders. In terms of scope, the Common Trade Policy is sub-divided into autonomous and contractual policy.


As of the date of its accession to the EU Bulgaria adopted entirely also the Common Customs Tariff of the EU. To check the applicable duty in imports of any product into the EU after 01.01.2007, please consult the database of the EU TARIC information system, accessible at the European Commission site on the Internet at The search may be performed either by the CN code of the commodity, country of origin or other data.


In 2008 the new Community action programme Customs 2013 was established (Decision No 624/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007). The programme scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2013, aims at facilitation of legitimate trade, simplification and speeding up of the customs procedures in the Member States. The programme shall respond to the necessity of defining a policy concerning safety (management of external borders and control of the whole international supply chain), the creation of electronic customs environment and the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. For these purposes the programme consists of activities in the field of:

  • communication and information-exchange systems;
  • benchmarking;
  • seminars and workshops;
  • project groups and steering groups;
  • working visits;
  • training activities;
  • monitoring actions.