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International convention and customs procedures of Sweden

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Sweden is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, European Union, ICC, G-9, G-10, OECD, Schengen Convention, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Sweden click here. International organisation membership of Sweden is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
As it is a member of the European Union, Sweden applies the Community regulations which are valid throughout the Union. The EU has quite a liberal foreign trade policy. However, there are a certain number of restrictions, especially at the level of agricultural products, ensuing from the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): applying compensations when importing and exporting agricultural products to favour the development of agriculture within the EU implies a certain number of systems to control and regulate goods entering EU territory.

Moreover, GMOs allowed in Europe must - for sanitary reasons - be systematically specified as such on packaging. It is also prohibited to import beef fed on hormones. The BSE crisis (called "mad cow disease") has encouraged the European authorities to reinforce phytosanitary measures to ensure the quality of meat entering and circulating in EU countries. The principle of precaution is now more widely favored: in case of doubt, import is prohibited until the innocuousness of the goods is proved.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Import duty and taxes are due for goods imported to Sweden from outside of the European Union - whether by a private individual or a corporate entity. Sweden is party to the European Union’s Common Customs Tariff, therefore preferential rates apply to imports from countries which the EU has signed agreements with. Duties range from 0-17%, with the general tariff averaging 4.2%. However, foodstuffs, textiles and clothing still experience some protection measures (quotas, higher tariffs, etc.). Some imports are subject to anti-dumping duties.
Customs Classification
The European Community (EC) Combined Nomenclature integrates the Harmonized System Nomenclature and comprises supplementary subdivisions with eight digits and its own legal terms created for Community purposes.
Import Procedures
The official model for written declarations to customs is the Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD serves as the EU importer's declaration.  It encompasses both customs duties and VAT and is valid in all EU Member States.

As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the European Union has set up a system of import controls- the "Import Control System" (ICS)- which aim to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Programme eCustoms, has been in effect since 1 January 2011. Since then, operators are required to fill out an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union. The EU recently introduced a new import control system called ICS2 to implement the EU customs pre-arrival security and safety programme.

Non-agricultural goods entering EU territory must adhere to customs formalities (ENS). This declaration must be carried out by the person bringing the goods to the territory. The Summary Declaration can be made electronically or on a form provided by the customs authorities. The deadline for lodging the ENS depends on the mode of transport carrying the goods.

Since July 1, 2009, all companies established outside of the EU are required to have an EORI number if they wish to lodge a customs declaration or an Entry/Exit Summary declaration. Once a company has received an EORI number, it can use it for exports to any of the 27 EU Member States.

Customs duties are the same for all EU member states. A value-added-tax (VAT), on the other hand, is established by the tax authorities of each member country, and differs for each country. Most goods imported to Sweden are subject to a VAT. The general VAT rate is 25 percent, with a lower rate of 12 percent for food and certain services and 6 percent for books and periodicals.

Goods in transit only need a single EU transit document.
Inward processing is free of customs treatment. This procedure allows raw material (non-Union good) to enter temporarily without customs fees if it will be processed (or repaired) and re-export the finished products out of the EU territory. In this case, the importer gives a guarantee (from an insurance company or bank) equal to the amount of customs duties that would have been due on the imported raw material. This guarantee will be reimbursed when the final product is exported. This process also applies to goods planned to be re-exported. Only goods sold in the EU market are eligible to import duty and taxes.
For outward processing, duties and taxes apply only to the value added during the process. Only firms located in Sweden or in the EU may take advantage of this measure.

Check the website of the EU Customs Union periodically for updates. For more information, please visit the Swedish Customs website.

Importing Samples
For the import, export and re-export of commercial samples the ATA (Temporary Admission) carnet can be used. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and that it may not be sold. To find out more about temporary admission, please visit the Swedish Customs website.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

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Latest Update: July 2024