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If you are considering importing a product, it is important to know if there exists any rights on the product: trademarks, design rights, patent rights or copyrights. If you have a new product manufactured abroad, make sure that your design, packaging and brand are well protected.

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Products from the European Union (EU) are almost always permitted in every country in Europe, but products from outside the EU are checked by Customs: do you comply with health and safety rules? Is the legislation in the economic and environmental field respected?

Parallel import

You may import and sell products from outside the EU if you have permission from the supplier. If you do not have permission and you import and sell the products, you are guilty of parallel import.

Commodities Act

Some goods are not allowed to be imported, are very limited or are only allowed to be imported under certain conditions. A certificate, exemption or import permit may then be required. On the European market, a foreign product must comply with the Commodities Act: requirements that are set to protect consumers from injury and material damage.

CE marking

The manufacturer or importer - depending on the country where the product comes from - is responsible for a so-called CE marking: on the one hand the producer declares that the product complies with all European directives for safety, health and environment, on the other hand the producer accepts his liability for the product. The logo is sometimes misused. For Chinese products, the term CE is used with almost the same logo. However, this then stands for China Export or China Electronics. These products often do not comply with European legislation.

The CE marking is mandatory for more than 20 product groups:

  • Active implantable medical devices
  • Devices on gaseous fuel
  • cableway installations for passenger transport
  • Construction materials
  • Environmentally friendly design of energy related products
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • Explosives for civil use
  • Central heating boilers
  • Medical devices for in vitro diagnostics
  • Elevators
  • Low voltage
  • Machines
  • Measuring instruments
  • Medical equipment
  • Noise emission in the environment
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Personal safety equipment
  • High pressure equipment
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Terminal equipment for radio and telecommunications
  • Pleasure crafts
  • Limitation of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
  • Safety of toys
  • Simple pressure vessels

Customs declaration

For deliveries from outside the EU, upon arrival of the goods in Europe, you must submit a declaration to Customs. On the basis of your declaration, Customs calculates the import duties (also known as import taxes) and VAT. The amount depends on the product and the country of origin.