Trade with EU countries

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The EU’s 28 member states have a customs union and a single market. This means that there is a common customs border against non-members, but goods, services, persons and capital can move freely between the EU countries. As an entrepreneur, you have the right to establish your business wherever you want within the European Union.

The EUROPA - Your Europe website provides you with practical advice when you want to do business in Europe. You can read about what laws, rules, forms of companies and more apply in each country.

Read more with practical advice, on the European Union’s website: Your Europe

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The Common Market

The EU’s 28 member states, together with Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, form the common EEA market. In the EEA market, goods manufactured and sold legally in one EEA country can in most cases be sold in all other EEA countries, without further requirements. The same applies to services lawfully provided in a Member State.

Read more about the EEA Agreement and the rules for the four freedoms, on the EU Information website (in Swedish)

Read more about the EU’s 28 member countries, on the European Union's website

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Exceptions to free movement

However for goods and services where the EU has not developed common rules, the EU/EEA countries are entitled to protect important social interests, even if it impedes freedom of movement. Some examples of important social interests include protection of life and health, consumer protection and environmental protection, special protection of minors, codes of professional ethics, road safety, health and safety protection for employees, protection of cultural diversity and the stability of the social insurance system.

If you want to sell your goods to other EU/EEA countries and want to know what national rules apply to a particular product, please contact the product contact point. In Sweden, information concerning this is available from the National Board of Trade.

Read more about the Contact Point For Goods, on the National Board of Trade’s website

If you want to know what requirements apply for various services in the EU/EEA countries, contact the Contact Point For Services.

Read more about the Contact Point For Services, on the European Commission’s website

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EU tax area

For the EU countries, common rules for VAT and certain excise duties are also applicable. A product or service is to be taxed in the EU country where the goods or services are traded or consumed. There are exceptions, so it can be helpful to become familiar with these tax rules before you start trading within the EU.

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Areas in the EU that are not included in the Customs Union or are outside the EU tax area

Some areas in some EU countries do not belong to the Customs Union. For these areas, the rules for trade with non-EU countries are applicable. Some EU areas are outside the common tax area. When you trade with these areas, the VAT rules for trade with non-EU countries are applicable.

Read more about the areas within the EU that are outside the Customs Union, on Swedish Customs’(Tullverket) website (in Swedish)

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