Your guide to the EU market's import rules and taxes

The European Union (EU) is the world's largest single market and the EU Trade Helpdesk is your one-stop-shop to access it. The EU is committed to helping exporters like you in its trade partner countries with the information you need to:

  • Make the most of the trade agreements we have put in place;
  • Bring your products onto the EU market.


  1. The European market

    Learn about basic rules, import procedures and documents required to access the European single market of 28 countries and over 500 million consumers...

    Read more on how the EU classifies products

  2. Rules of Origin

    Find out if your exports can benefit from one of many trade agreements the EU has signed with countries throughout the world.

    Rules of Origin

    How to claim a reduced duty under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences

  3. Statistics

    Check how much of your product the EU has imported since 2002 and from where.



  4. Import duties

    Whatever entry point into Europe you choose, the duties will be collected only once. Check whether you qualify for import duty relief or discount.

    Read more about import duties



    Goods imported into Europe need to fulfil technical, safety and labelling requirements and regulations as defined by EU laws. Find out more about them here.

    Policy areas

    Product related requirements and regulations

  6. Internal taxes

    Value Added Tax and excise duties vary in the 28 EU countries. Find out more and check specific tax levels.

    Read more about EU tax

So, how do I export to the EU?

Watch how to get the best access to the European Market with your product:

  1. Find the EU's import rules and regulations
  2. Import duties
  3. Documents to fill for customs

All in just a few minutes!


I can't wait to take my soya products to the EU market. The EU Trade Helpdesk provides me with needed information to do that."

Bifor Philomina Tanye, CEO Millennium Nutrition Enterprise


  • How to prepare for Brexit?

    Companies who are trading goods with and/or receiving/providing services from/to the UK please read our guide on "How to prepare for your customs procedures in case of a no-deal Brexit".

    February 27, 2019
  • The EU´s product classification system 2019

    In late 2018 the European Commission published its updated tariff and statistical nomenclature together with the latest version of the Common Customs Tariff applicable as of 1 January 2019.


    What is the Common Customs Tariff

    February 4, 2019
  • GSP changes applicable from 01/01/2019

    Graduation of GSP countries

    Four countries have graduated from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), as per EU Regulation 2018/148:

    ·         Paraguay, a GSP+ beneficiary country, was classified by the World Bank as upper-middle income country in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Therefore, according to EU Regulation 978/2012, Paraguay no longer qualifies for GSP beneficiary country status.

    ·         Ivory Coast, Ghana and Swaziland have signed a preferential market access agreement with the EU which grants them equal or better market access conditions than GSP. Therefore, they are no longer eligible for tariff preferences under GSP.

    Changes in special regimes

    Samoa, which no longer classifies as a least developed country according to the UN, no longer qualifies for tariff preferences under the Everything but Arms (“EBA”) scheme. As per EU Regulation 2015/1979, it now benefits from tariff preferences under the general GSP arrangement.

    New "REX countries"  

    As of January 1, 2019, the following GSP countries are expected to apply REX:  

    Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

    You can check the effective date of application in each GSP country here.

    These countries are joining those which started using REX in 2017 and 2018.

    February 4, 2019