Export of services to EU/EEA countries

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Services are covered by free movement in the EU internal market. This means that you can offer your services or establish operations in another EU country.

These rules also apply to trade between the EU countries and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which make up the EEA market.

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Free movement of services

The principle of reciprocity applies to the area of services. This means that if you are allowed to sell your services in Sweden, then, in general, the authorities of other EU/EEA countries cannot prevent you from selling these services there or demand that you meet additional conditions.

There are few common EU rules for individual service industries. Instead there is a general Services Directive that regulates almost 70 per cent of the private services sector.

Exceptions from the free movement of services

An EU/EEA country can only demand in certain cases that you meet their national requirements. The public authority must be able to justify their demand with regard to fundamental public interests, such as protection of life and health, consumer protection and environmental protection.

However, the requirements set must be necessary and proportionate. They should impede trade as little as possible.

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Your Europe

On the EU’s Your Europe website you can get practical advice if you want to do business in Europe. There you can, for instance, read about what laws, regulations and types of companies apply in each country.

Read more about laws, regulations and types of companies in each country on the Your Europe website

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Norway–Sweden Border Service

The country we do most trade with outside the EU is our neighbouring country of Norway. The Norway–Sweden Border Service [Grensetjänsten Norge–Sverige] has coordinated information from public authorities in both Sweden and Norway. The information is aimed at companies that want to take contracts, establish a presence or trade with customers in Norway.

Read more about the Border Service on the Border Service’s website (in Swedish)

See the film where the Border Service describes trade with Norway (you can choose english subtitle)

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Øresunddirektbusiness

Øresunddirektbusiness is a guide for companies that conduct or intend to start a business in the Øresund region. Here you will find information about recruiting staff, establishing a business and the market and trade between Denmark and Sweden.

Read more about Øresunddirektbusiness on the website of Øresunddirektbusiness (in english)

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Nordkalotten Border Service

The Nordkalotten Border Service has customers in Finland, Norway and Sweden. The Service communicates relevant and current information that helps companies to function on both sides of the border. The Border Service also works to remove barriers to cross-border trade.

Read more about the Nordkalotten Border Service on the website of the Nordkalotten Border Service (in Swedish)

Conditions that you should not need to encounter as a business operator:

  • requirements that you have a particular nationality, place of residence or citizenship
  • requirements about where your company has its registered office
  • bans on companies having a business presence in several countries
  • bans on companies being members of a professional organisation in more than one member country
  • requirements concerning a particular type of establishment of a business
  • requirements for proof from the company that there is demand for its services
  • requirements of financial guarantees or insurance cover in the country
  • requirements that the company pre-registers or has had operations in the country for a certain period.

To make it easier for companies selling services in the EU, each EU country has a website that is called the point of single contact for services. There you will find information about what requirements and licences are applicable in that particular country. You find the points of single contact via the European network called EUGO.

Read more about the points of single contact on the European Commission website EUGO

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SOLVIT – network for free movement

If you have problems doing business in Sweden because a public authority is acting contrary to EU law, you can get help from SOLVIT. This is an informal network in the EU/EEA that solves obstacles to free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. SOLVIT is free of charge. In Sweden SOLVIT is at the National Board of Trade.

Read more about SOLVIT on the National Board of Trade’s website

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