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Tips & tricks on EU tariffs

The European Commission provides excellent tips and tricks to navigate the EU tariff and quota regulations.

Can I find the tariff quotas at the Export Helpdesk?

Yes. The Import Tariffs section at the Export Helpdesk provides, when applicable, information on tariff quotas, antidumping duties and standard import values. You will also find reference to the legislation applicable to that particular measure.

  • See also: Export Helpdesk Quotas page

Gross or net weight?

Whenever there is no reference to the gross weight, it is the net weight which has to be taken into consideration – the weight of the goods themselves without packaging materials or packaging containers of any kind.

Does the same tariff apply when exporting to Germany or to Spain?

The Export Helpdesk information is based on "harmonised regulations". That means that they apply to all 28 countries in the European Union (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom).

Therefore, when you browse the Export Helpdesk to find the import tariff for your product, you are not required to specify a country of destination. Indeed, with the customs union, the import tariff information applies to all countries of the European Union.

However, if you are looking for the value added tax (VAT) on a product in the requirements and taxes section of the Export Helpdesk, you are required to specify your country of destination as indeed VAT rates vary from one EU country to another.

What is the Erga Omnes duty?

When you browse the Export Helpdesk to check the import tariff you have to pay to export your product to the EU, you often see the "erga omnes" tariff mentioned. But what is it?

Erga omnes is the legal term for obligations or rights towards all. For instance, if a product's customs duty is "erga omnes", it is applicable to imports from all countries.

However developing countries have advantageous conditions to enter the EU market. You may not have to pay the full tariff –or indeed any at all-. Hence, next to the "erga omnes" tariff, you may find the preferential agreement that your country has and the reduced tariff it implies.

Your country may be eligible for more than one preferential arrangement with the EU. If so, you can choose the most advantageous one for you, provided you meet the conditions.

"Erga omnes" is also commonly referred to as "Most Favoured Nation" treatment, in WTO jargon

More info:

Check the tariff applying to your product at My export.

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