Export of goods to EU/EEA countries

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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.

Read more about exporting goods 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

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Guides and services for export to EU/EEA countries

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.

Read more about the Export Guide, on Business Sweden’s website (in Swedish)

Your Europe

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.

Read more practical advice, on the Your Europe website

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.

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

Watch the video where the Border Service talks about trade with Norway (you can choose enligsh subtitle)

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.

Read more about Øresund Direkt Business, on ØresundDirekt Business’ website (in Swedish)

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.

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

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The CE mark and mutual recognition

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.

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

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.

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Restrictions on the sale of certain goods to other EU countries

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:

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.

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The EU regions outside the customs union or EU tax area

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.

Read more about the EU’s 28 member countries, on the EU Information website (in Swedish)

Read more about countries that are not part of the EU Customs Union, on Swedish Customs’ website (in Swedish)

If the EU region does not belong to the Customs Union, the rules for exports of goods to non-EU countries apply.

Read more about exporting goods to non-EU countries

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.

Read more about VAT when exporting goods to non-EU countries

Read more about excise taxes on exporting goods to non-EU countries

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If you encounter obstacles

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.

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

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.

Read more about how to report trade barriers, on the National Board of Trade’s website (in Swedish)

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