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Companies operating in Europe can benefit from the EU Single Market. Most goods can thus move freely within the European territory, without additional costs or quantitative restrictions. This is called the free movement of goods. However, additional rules apply to certain products such as excise goods and chemicals. Similarly, VAT obligations vary according to the type of products sold, the consignee and the place where the products are transported.

For any product imported from a non-EU country, customs formalities must be completed.

EU regulations applicable to products

Before you can place products on the EU market, you must ensure that they comply with EU requirements for the protection of human and animal health and the environment, as well as consumer rights. These may be harmonised rules and specifications within the EU, or those set by each EU country but recognised by the EU (“mutual recognition”). For more information, see Product Rules and Technical Specifications.

Discrimination between customers banned in the EU

You are free to define your general terms and conditions of sale, but all your customers in the EU must be able to access the goods in the same way as local customers.

If you offer a discounted price, promotion or special conditions of sale, all your customers must be able to benefit from it, regardless of the country of the EU in which they are established, their nationality, their place of residence or the place of establishment of the company.

These rules apply to both online and offline transactions as long as the sale is intended for the end user (an individual or business that does not intend to resell, transform, process, lease or subcontract purchases).

Sales of products without delivery

If you offer a pickup service, you must ensure that customers located in the EU countries where you do not offer a delivery service have the right to order products from your website, and to arrange for them to be delivered or removed.

Source: Your Europe Business

Contact your Enterprise Europe Brussels expert and get specialised advice on the relevant European legislation, both at European and national level, to ensure compliance with the rules.

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