The formation of the EU, which was agreed upon by the Member States in the Maastricht Treaty, aimed to extend the scope of economic cooperation and moreover, political integration. The long-planned Single Market finally became a reality on January 1, 1993. From that date, customs supervision of the movement of goods within the EU is no longer required. Within the borders of the Single Market, customs duties, import turnover tax, and special excise duty no longer apply.
Since the customs declaration also formed the basis for the retrieval of statistical data in intra-Union goods movements and these data are of particular importance for trade policy, the EU established the permanent statistical retrieval system Intrastat. These statistics are based solely on intra-Union goods movements. Goods movements with third countries and intra-Union goods movements with non-Union goods are the subject of foreign trade statistics.