Current portal location

Website content

Import into the EU

Online services

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 Export Helpdesk provides comprehensive information for developing countries on how to access the EU market and benefit from preferential trade agreements.
  • The EU Tariff section from the Market Access Database provides information on EU tariffs and other import measures applied to a given product imported into the EU.

The EU sees trade as an important aspect of development and has a number of trade agreements with partners in the developing world.

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

  • Information on EU and Member States' import requirements as well as internal taxes applicable to products;
  • Information on import tariffs and other import measures;
  • Information on EU preferential import regimes benefiting developing countries;
  • Trade data for the EU and its individual Member States;
  • Links to other authorities and international organisations involved in practical trade operations and trade promotion;
  • The possibility to lodge detailed information requests about real-life situations encountered by exporters;
  • A "What's New" section to host newsletters.

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.

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%.