Customs union (关税同盟)

Custom Union; 税联盟

A customs union (关税同盟 guān shuì tóng méng) refers to an agreement by which member countries charges a universal set of tariffs to the rest of the world while granting free trade among members so that goods can flow freely among members.

Part 1: Breakdown of Words

  • Literally, “关税同盟” (guān shuì tóng méng) means “tariff alliance/tariff coalition”.
  • “Customs” (海关 hǎi guān) refers to the official department that administers and collects the duties levied by a government on imported goods, based on “ocean/sea” ( hǎi)and “pass” ( guān).
    • ” (hǎi) as in “navy” (海军 hǎi jūn), “ocean” (海洋 hǎi yáng), or “sea transportation” (海运 hǎi yùn).
    • ” (guān) as in “relationship” (关系 guān xì), “close/shut” (关闭 guān bì), or “tariff” (关税 guān shuì).
  • “Union” (同盟 tóng méng) derives from:
    • ” (tóng) as in “comrade” (同志 tóng zhì), “the same/identical” (相同 xiāng tóng), or “synchronous” (同步 tóng bù).
    • ” (méng) as in “ally” (盟友 méng yǒu), “union” (联盟 lián méng), or “Europe Union” (欧洲联盟 ōu zhōu lián méng).
    • In most cases, “同盟” (tóng méng) means “coalition” or “alliance” in Chinese.

Part 2: Examples

  1. European Union Customs Union (欧盟关税同盟 ōu méng guān shuì tóng méng).
  2. Benelux Customs Union (比荷卢关税同盟 bǐ hé lú guān shuì tóng méng).
  3. Eurasian Customs Union (欧亚关税同盟 ōu yà guān shuì tóng méng).
  4. German Customs Union (德意志关税同盟 dé yì zhì guān shuì tóng méng).
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