Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Customs Law Research Guide

This guide details sources for researching international customs law, including sources from international organizations and major trade agreements.

International Customs Law

The following IGO and NGO websites are reliable sources of free information about international customs law, including relevant treaties and international agreements, as well as internationally recognized standards and procedures. 

  • World Customs Organization (WCO)
    The WCO is an inter-governmental organization that overseas the development of internationally recognized standards and practices to improve customs administration.  The WCO maintains the Harmonized System for the classification of goods.  It also administers the technical aspects of the World Trade Organization Agreements on Customs Valuation and on Rules of Origin.  Visit the WCO's website to access the following:
     
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
    The WTO is the inter-governmental organization responsible for the multilateral system that regulates international trade.  It provides a forum for negotiating multilateral trade agreements and for resolving trade-related disputes.  Customs-related content accessible from the WTO website is summarized below:
     
  • Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA)
    This computerized customs management system was created by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to help developing countries modernize their customs administration.  The system also generates trade data that can be used for statistical analysis.  The ASYCUDA website provides access to:
     
  • International Chamber of Commerce
    The ICC is the most prominent non-governmental organization representing the interests of the international business community.  The ICC's policy commissions make it a key player in the development of international economic law.
     
    • ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation
      The commission promotes customs reform and modernization by formulating recommendations for the implementation of transparent, simplified, and harmonized customs policies and procedures.  From this gateway page you can access the ICC's policy statements on customs-related matters.
       
    • Incoterms Rules
      Incoterms Rules are internationally recognized standards that are used in both international and domestic contracts for the sale of goods.  The standards were first developed by experts brought together by the ICC in 1936, and are periodically revised and updated. 
      • From this gateway page on the ICC website, you can access information about the Incoterms Rules and their history, including information about the upcoming release of Incoterms 2020. 
      • The current (2010) edition of the Incoterms Rules is available in print at the Georgetown Law Library (Call No. REF K1005 .I533 2010).