Trade regimes

This section informs you about import procedures including topics such as tariff preferences as well as links to sector and country-specific requirements.

In order to export or import goods, you are required to produce specific documents for customs clearance. This section provides you with information on some of the specific licences and documents that you may require.


In order to import certain goods into the EU, for example, you may require an import licence. If the good you are importing requires an import licence, you must obtain it from the competent authority of the EU Member State in which you are established. You must ensure to do this prior to clearance so that your good is free to circulate within the EU.

To obtain the import licence, you must

  • Fill in an application form using the example in Annex I to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1239 (OJ L-206 30/07/2016) (CELEX 32016R1239) or by other sufficient means approved by the responsible authority e.g. through a computerised system. If you are using an application form, you must fill in two copies: one for you as the holder and one that you submit to the issuing authority.
  • Pay a refundable security deposit. The amount of the deposit is set in the Common Organisation of the Market for each agricultural sector. Your deposit will be returned to you once you have fulfilled all your obligations as an importer. If the goods you are importing amount to €100 or less, or if the licence is drawn up in the name of an intervention agency, you will not be required to pay the security deposit.

Once you have obtained your import licence, you are obliged to ensure that the description and quantity of the goods you are importing match the information given on the import licence.

If the goods you are importing exceed or fall short of the stated quantity on the import licence by 5% or less, your obligation will be considered as fulfilled. If the competent authorities find that you have not satisfied your obligations as an importer, your security deposit will be forfeited.


If you wish to export goods, you need to ensure that the country you wish to export to does not apply restrictions on your product. Such restrictions may prohibit your product from entering the target market.

These are called import restrictions in your target market. For an overview of restrictions in your target market, visit My Trade Assistant.

To check the specific import procedures that apply to a specific product or partner country, please visit our markets section.

More information

For a basic description of the import and export process, and the general steps to take, look up our step-by-step guides.

Look up more information on customs procedures for import and export at the website of DG Taxation and Customs Union.

Share this page:

Quick links