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Import into the EU

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Helping companies to bring their products onto the European market

The EU supports businesses wanting to import into the EU by providing clear facts on the rules and requirements for importing into the EU. 

The information here is aimed at helping both European firms wanting to import products to the EU and exporters from outside the EU who want to export their products to the EU.

  • The Export Helpdesk provides comprehensive information for trade partner countries on how to access the EU market and benefit from preferential trade agreements.
  • The EU Tariff section provides information on EU tariffs and other measures applied to all products imported into the EU.

The EU has a number of trade agreements with its partner countries and also sees trade as important for development.

To help exporters seize these opportunities, the Export Helpdesk provides:

  • Information on EU and Member States'
    • import requirements
    • internal taxes on products
  • Information on import tariffs and other import measures
  • Information on EU preferential conditions for imports from trade partner countries
  • Trade data for the EU and its individual Member States
  • Links to other authorities and international organisations involved in trade promotion and the practical aspects of trade
  • The possibility to ask for information about your own particular situation and product(s)
  • A "What's New" section with import related news.

EU action when imports are not fair

The EU applies trade defence measures such as anti-dumping measures, anti-subsidy measures or safeguards when EU industry is harmed by dumped or subsided imports.

Integrated System for Managing Licences (SIGL)

The Integrated System for Managing Exports ad Import Licences, or SIGL (for Système Intégré de Gestion de Licences) provides information on quota levels applied in the European Union for imports of clothing, footwear, steel and wood products.

The information on the SIGL website gives the results of the Commission's management of the quotas at any given point in time.

Monitoring of imports of bananas from Peru, Columbia, Ecuador and Central-American countries

In the trade agreements with the above mentioned countries, the EU has negotiated a Banana Stabilisation Mechanism by which preferences may be temporarily removed if imports reached a given level. The EU also agreed that the imports of bananas into the EU would be monitored.

Facts about EU imports

  • EU import tariffs are amongst the lowest in the world.
  • The EU market is the most open to developing countries. Fuels excluded, the EU imports more from LDCs than the US, Canada, Japan and China put together.
  • It is not just exports that are essential to economic growth and job creation but increasingly also imports. Two-thirds of EU imports are raw materials, intermediary goods and components needed for our companies' production processes. The share of foreign imports in the EU’s exports has increased by more than half since 1995, to reach 13%.