VAT on the import of goods from outside the EU

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The EU is a customs union with a customs border vis-à-vis non-EU countries. This means that the EU countries have common rules for customs duties and VAT.

VAT on imports of goods

If you are VAT-registered and import goods from non-EU countries, you must report and pay import VAT to the Swedish Tax Agency via your VAT return. If you are not registered VAT, you will pay import VAT to Swedish Customs.

You will pay VAT for goods subject to customs duties. VAT rules for imports apply to goods from

  • countries outside the EU
  • EU regions outside the EU’s tax area.

Read more about EU regions outside the EU’s tax area, on Swedish Customs’ website (in Swedish)

The Swedish Tax Agency’s guide to trading in goods with other countries provides you with an overview of the VAT rules when purchasing goods from non-EU countries. In the Swedish Tax Agency’s brochure, VAT with Foreign Trade, you can learn the details and obtain assistance in calculating the amount of VAT.

Read the Swedish Tax Agency’s Guide to Trading in Goods, on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

Read the Swedish Tax Agency’s brochure VAT with Foreign Trade, on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

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VAT-free import

Do you import goods that you intend to deliver to a recipient in another EU country after having paid customs duties on the goods? In such case the VAT is to be reported in the EU country where the recipient is registered for VAT.

Read more about VAT-free imports, on Swedish Customs’ website (in Swedish)

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Exemptions from import VAT

Some goods that are exempt from customs duty or have a lower customs duty, are also excluded from VAT. In such case, you will neither report the tax basis nor any output VAT or input VAT in your VAT return.

In addition to the duty-free goods, there are other goods that are exempted from VAT pursuant to the VAT rules that apply in general. If you import such goods, you will not pay import VAT.

On the Swedish Tax Agency’s website you will find more information on how to report and calculate VAT.

Report VAT and calculate the amount of VAT (in Swedish)

Download the Swedish Tax Agency’s brochure, VAT with Foreign Trade (in Swedish)

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The Swedish Tax Agency’s web seminars

What should you consider when engaging in trade with non-EU countries? How should you report the VAT? Such questions can be answered by connecting to our webinars.

Read more about this and register on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

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The Swedish Tax Agency’s Tax Information Service

The Tax Information Line at the Swedish Tax Agency responds to all types of tax issues. The telephone number is 0771-567 567. When phoning from abroad, the telephone number is + 46 8 564 851 60.

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