Normally, it is a very simple matter to become a Member of the World Customs Organization (WCO). In some cases, however, political and legal problems constitute stumbling blocks. Following a decision to allow accession of the European Communities (EC) by the WCO Council, the accession remains ad hoc, pending amendment of the Convention establishing the WCO. This article explores issues related to ... [Show full abstract] the accession process of the EC to the WCO and issues concerning the decision to allow accession and the Convention establishing the WCO. Because the WCO's status as an international organization has not been satisfactorily addressed , this article also focuses on its characteristics, as compared with those of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In closing, this article will consider and evaluate the political impact of the EC's accession to the WCO.