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Importing products from China to European Union


It is crucial to be aware of customs, taxes, and other fees before beginning the importation. Especially, if you are working without agents or brokers. China is the biggest exporter and its products are transported all around the world. But different countries have their own regulations and import duty tariffs.

In this article, we are going to talk about import duties to the EU.


Europe Union

The economies of EU countries are connected. There are no import duties if goods are imported from an EU country to another EU country. So, the import duty rate is the same for all EU countries if the importation is done from a non-EU state.

If Italian customers purchase your products and your store is located in Germany, then clients don’t have to pay import duties. Because they have already been paid when you did importation from China.


Import duty rates.

Percentages differ depending on the product. Here is the list of some products and their duty rates in the EU.

  • Solar panels: 0%
  • Tablet PC: 0%
  • Raw silk: 0%
  • Electric bikes: 6%
  • T-shirts: 12%
  • Peanuts: 12.8%


Here is the official website to read more about the calculation of import duties. 



The VAT is a value-added tax in the European Union. For example, if you buy a product inside the EU, the cost you pay should include VAT.

However, if you are buying a product in another country to import it to the EU, you will pay VAT to the government.

Importers must pay VAT on the total customs value and import duty. The VAT differs depending on the country. For example, if you are importing to France, you will pay according to France's VAT rate.


How to calculate the VAT?

To calculate, you should know:

  • Products value
  • Import Duty rate
  • VAT rate


For example:

  • The total value of imported products: $5,000
  • Import Duty rate: 7% ($5,000 * 0,07 = $350)
  • Customs value + import duty $5,000 + $350 = $5,350
  • VAT $5,350 * 0.19 (Germany VAT rate) = $1,016.5
  • Total amount: $5,350 + $1,016.5 = $6,366.5


What is the VAT rate in my country?

Each EU member country sets its own VAT rate. States can set different percentages for different products and services. Here is the list of EU countries and their VAT rates for most of the products.

  • Hungary: 27%
  • Croatia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden: 25%
  •  Greece and Finland: 24%
  • Portugal, Poland, and Ireland: 23%
  •  Slovenia and Italy: 22%
  • Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands: 21%
  • Austria, Estonia, France, Serbia, Slovakia and Bulgaria 20%
  • Cyprus, Germany, and Romania: 19%
  •  Malta 18%
  • Luxembourg: 17%


Is it possible to ask for a refund for the VAT that has been paid?

Yes, but only if you have paid more than you have earned. For example, if you are located in France. You’ve imported customs for $10,000 but managed to sell only half of them. Then,

  • Sales VAT $5.000 * 20% = $1000
  • Paid VAT $10.000 * 20% = $2000
  • Deducted balance $2000 - $1000

You should be eligible for a refund. However, in some cases, you can’t require a refund.


Here is the official website to read more about VAT in the EU.



CIF stands for Cost, Insurance, and Freight. Usually, CIF is considered as Customs Value.

Customs Value includes:

  • Price of the product
  •  Shipping and logistics
  •  Packaging costs
  •   Royalties
  •  Insurance cost
  •   And other fees

Expenses that can be deducted from the transactional value:

  • Transportation in the EU territory
  •  Costs that are generated within European Union.
  •  Purchasing commission

Customs authorities will require precise estimates. They consider the Bill of lading (document issued by a freight forwarder)

More about Customs Valuation


Note that they might be not all the fees that you should pay. The total amount of paid fee might differ depending on your product.


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