Customs Territory

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Customs Territory

Summary of Customs Territory

The geographical area of a country, its possessions, and surrounding waters within which the customs authority is empowered to impose duties and controls upon foreign merchandise entering therein. The customs territory need not necessarily incorporate all the territory over which a nation asserts sovereignty. For example, the customs territory of the United States does not embrace the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, nor the various FOREIGN TRADE ZONES (read this and related legal terms for further details) established within the United States proper.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Customs Territory and the GATT Policy Negotiations

In relation to the GATT Policy Negotiations, Christopher Mark (1993) provided the following explanation and/or definition of Customs Territory: The geographical area within which a country1s customs authority is empowered to impose duties and controls upon foreign merchandise entering the territory .The customs territory does not necessarily encompass all the territory over which the nation asserts sovereignty. The customs territory of the United States, for example, does not include the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or various foreign trade zones established within the United States. On the other hand, a country’s customs territory may extend to other sovereign states. Monaco, for example, is part of the customs territory of France.

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