Legal Aspects of the Implementation of European Union’s Common Commercial Policy: Lithuanian Experience and Practice

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Abstract

The Common Commercial Policy is the essential basis of the European Union (hereinafter - the EU), which, in particular, is a free trade area between the 28 Member States with a common external customs tariff and a common foreign trade policy as well as common trade rules with the third countries. Implementation of this policy is characterized by the fact that it is based on an exclusive competence of the EU, which after the Treaty of Lisbon (2009) became even more apparent. Therefore the countries of the EU should follow the same legal principles and rules in the regulation of their foreign trade, that is to apply the uniform EU rules on the calculation of customs duties and determination of the customs origin of goods, customs valuation and tariff classification of goods (Common Customs Tariff). However, implementation of these provisions is always experiencing stress due to the different interests of the EU Member States and the different national practices, especially when the administration of customs duties is actually implemented only at the level of individual EU Member States. Therefore the aim of the article is to assess the implementation of the EU’s CCP from the perspective of the EU Member State (Lithuania) and to describe existing discrepancies which may serve as an obstacle for the development of common regulatory regime for import customs duties in the EU or hinder its main economic goals in international trade. Analysis of relevant scientific problems is mainly based on the comparative method (comparison of the practice of the national courts in the Republic of Lithuania and the Court of Justice of the European Union in disputes related to the functioning of the EU's customs union) and generalization of professional experience (national and EU judicial practice). The research leads to the conclusion that a uniform implementation of Common Commercial Policy and the Common Customs Tariff, as its main element, is not fully ensured on the practical level from the perspective of certain Member States (i.e. Lithuania).

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