Export of goods to EU/EEA countriesThe page was last modified:
The EU has a common market where goods can move freely across borders without customs clearance or customs duties. Therefore for many goods, the EU countries have common rules. For certain goods however, the EU countries have their own national rules. The purpose of the rules is to protect human health and the environment, or safety.
A product that is manufactured or legally sold in Sweden may be sold in other EU countries without further requirements. This is referred to as the principle of mutual recognition. These rules also apply to trade between the EU countries plus Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein, which form the EEA market.
However, customs borders and customs controls remain between the EU and the three countries. In such situations, the customs procedure applies to exports to non-EU countries.
Additional information is available on this website concerning:
- Guides and services for export to EU/EEA countries
- The CE mark and mutual recognition
- Restrictions on the sale of certain goods to other EU countries
- The EU regions outside the customs union or EU tax area
- If you encounter obstacles
You will find guides and services here that can be of assistance to you when export goods to EU/EEA countries.
The Export Guide
For information and guidance in your export preparation, Business Sweden has developed the Export Guide.
The EU website Your Europe provides practical advice for those who want to do business in Europe. On the website, you can learn about what laws and rules apply in each country, and the types of possible companies.
The Norway-Sweden Border Service
The country outside the EU we have the most trading with is our neighbour, Norway. The Norwegian-Sweden border service has coordinated information from public authorities in both Sweden and Norway. The information is intended for companies that want to undertake assignments, trade with customers, or establish a company in Norway.
Øresund Direct Business
Øresund Direct Business is a guide for companies that are conducting or planning to start-up business operations in the Oresund region. You will find information here about the recruitment of employees, forming companies, plus the market and trade between Denmark and Sweden.
Nordkalotten’s Border Service
Nordkalotten’s Border Service has customers in Finland, Norway and Sweden. The service provides relevant and up-to-date information that assists companies that operate on both sides of the border. In addition, the Border Service works to remove barriers to border trade.
Goods encompassed within common EU rules on basic health, environmental and safety requirements must be CE marked. No other goods may bear the CE mark. CE-marked goods may be sold without restriction on the EEA market.
Read more about the CE marking, on the Enterprise Europe Networks website
When you import goods that are not encompassed within the EU’s common rules, the EEA countries have own national rules that become applicable. When there are national requirements for a product, the principle of mutual recognition applies. This is based on the trust the countries have for each other that each country’s law fully provides protection for consumers and the environment.
Derogation from the principle of mutual recognition
EEA countries have the right to derogate from the principle of mutual recognition and apply national rules for EEA goods. In such case, the governmental authority in the country must show that the requirement is justified to protect fundamental social interests. Examples include the protection of life and human health, as well as consumer and environmental protection. The governmental authority must provide adequate justification for its decision.
Public authorities in other EEA countries may apply their rules and regulations if it is justified for the protection of fundamental social interests. If you want to find out what rules apply in other EEA countries for goods, contact the Contact Point For Goods at the National Board of Trade.
In order for a country to be excepted from the principle of mutual recognition, the measure must be absolutely necessary, proportionate and as constitute a minimal as possible trade barrier.
There are special provisions for exporting certain goods from Sweden to another EU country. In such case you may need a license or some form of authorisation. Examples of such goods are:
- Agricultural products (the Swedish Board of Agriculture) (in Swedish)
- Cultural objects (Swedish National Heritage Board)
- Endangered animals and plants (Swedish Board of Agriculture) (in Swedish)
- Military Equipment (Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products) (in Swedish)
- Goods for civil and military purposes (Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products) (in Swedish)
- Radioactive waste (Radiation Safety Authority) (in Swedish)
- Spent refrigerants, from for example refrigerators, freezers (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency) (in Swedish)
At the EU Contact Point For Goods, you can learn more about specific rules regarding exports from Sweden. The Swedish contact point can be found on the National Board of Trade’ website.
When you sell a product from another country, it is important to determine if the other party is doing business within the EU or not. The website for the Riksdag’s EU Information contains a list of all EU countries. On Swedish Customs’ website, you can see which EU regions are not part of the EU Customs Union and thus outside the common market.
If the EU region does not belong to the Customs Union, the rules for exports of goods to non-EU countries apply.
If the EU region is not part of the EU’s tax area, VAT rules apply with exports to non-EU countries and excise taxes with exports to non-EU countries.
Within the EU, most rules are common, however sometimes exports to other EU countries can be impeded by national rules or by erroneous interpretations or incorrect applications of EU rules.
If you encounter obstacles with public authorities in other EEA countries when selling a product, you can obtain free assistance from SOLVIT at the National Board of Trade. You can also contact the National Board of Trade if you require assistance in finding information.
The National Board of Trade assists companies that encounter trade barriers with inside or outside the EU. You can report trade barriers to the National Board of Trade, which assesses the possibilities that exist for resolving the problem.
Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth