What does it cost to import goods?

The taxes most commonly levied upon import are customs duties and value added tax. More information about import VAT: VAT on imports from outside the EU 

So-called third duty is levied on goods imported from outside the EU. This duty rate based on the customs tariff is levied on goods from third countries unless preferential treatments, tariff quotas or tariff suspensions lower or remove the duty.

Customs duties are generally ad valorem duties, meaning that they are calculated as a percentage of the customs value. Some goods are subject to a specific duty based, for example, on their weight or number. The amount of customs duty is determined on the basis of the commodity code under which the goods are classified.

Customs value is generally based on the price payable for the goods. It also includes the transport costs up to the first point of entry in the EU.

Special characteristics of customs duties:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables, prepared fruit and vegetables and some wines are subject to an entry price system, i.e. the higher the entry price on import, the lower the customs duty.
  • In addition to customs duty, an agricultural component (abbreviated EA), additional duty on sugar (AD S/Z) or additional duty on flour contents (AD F/M) is levied on certain processed agricultural products. Additional duties are declared using a code which can be determined based on the composition of the product using the TARIC database of the Commission. The product may have also been assigned a maximum customs duty (abbreviated ‘max’) or a minimum customs duty (abbreviated ‘min’). The sugar and flour content of the goods may be subject to an additional customs duty as part of the maximum customs duty.
  • Anti-dumping and countervailing duties can be levied on goods whose import at lower rates than usual to the EU would impair production in Member States.
  • You may have to pay an extra import duty, or additional duty, e.g. when importing certain goods from the United States.
  • A preferential duty is lower than the duty normally paid on goods imported from outside the EU. Preferential duties are based on preferential agreements between the EU and other countries. The EU has nearly 40 of these agreements. Additionally, the EU has granted unilateral preferential tariffs to developing countries.

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