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Origin One of the differences between having an EFTA style agreement, and a customs union is that the origin of goods becomes very important.  A free trade area would typically see zero tariffs on goods which originate in a member country, but there may well be tariffs on goods which enter from an outside country.  This means that customs checks are needed to ascertain whether goods originated in the member country, or if they had been imported by it.  In a customs union scenario this is not needed because the tariffs applied on products from outside the union are the same regardless of which member country they arrive into.

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