The basis of all forms of regional or bilateral economic integration is the elimination or progressive reduction of tariffs and of other trade restrictions between the contracting States. The elimination of such ‘internal barriers’ to the trade between the Member States characterizes the elementary type of regional economic integration: the free trade area or free trade zone. A more advanced form is the customs union. Whilst the free trade area merely eliminates tariffs in between Members, the customs union additionally establishes a single external tariff for...
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