Goods in the customs territory of the EU either have the status of "Union" goods (i.e. goods manufactured or obtained in the EU or "goods released for free circulation") or "non-Union" goods (i.e. all goods which do not comply with the criteria of Union goods). The importer may not dispose of non-Union goods or only to the extent permitted by the customs administration.
Different customs procedures apply subject to the reasons why goods are imported. The European Union Customs Code stipulates three major groups of customs procedures:
- release for free circulation,
- export, and
- special procedures.
The special customs procedures particularly comprise of:
- transit (external and internal transit), specific use (temporary admission and end-use),
- processing (inward processing and outward processing), and
- storage in customs warehouses and free zones.
In Germany, free zones exist in the free ports of Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven. The German customs authority provides comprehensive information on the different customs procedures online.You can find this fragment in the following contexts: