CE Marking When Importing From China: A Complete Guide

Posted on 131 Comments

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Get a Free CE Compliance Quote Here

Importing products from China to the European Union? Depending on the product, importers are required to ensure full compliance with all relevant CE directives – a process that is far more complex than requesting a test report from your supplier.

In this guide, we explain what you must know about CE marking as an importer:

  • What is CE Marking?
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Labeling Requirements
  • List of CE Marking Directives
  • Laboratory testing requirements

We also answer frequently asked questions about CE marking:

  • Are non-EU companies and exporters required to comply with CE marking rules?
  • Which products must be CE Marked?
  • Must all products sold in the EU carry the CE mark?
  • Is the importer or manufacturer responsible for ensuring CE compliance?
  • What can happen if I importer non-CE compliant products?
  • Are all Chinese manufacturers able to produce CE compliant products?

Continue reading CE Marking When Importing From China: A Complete Guide

Customs & Taxes When Importing from China: US, EU, Australia & Canada

Posted on 73 Comments

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

Understanding import duties, customs fees, VAT and other taxes is crucial when importing products from China, especially in a time when trade tensions are at an all-time high. However, each country or market have their own customs duty rates and tax calculation methods.

In this article, we explain what every Importer must know about custom & taxes when importing products to the following countries and regions.

REACH Compliance & Restricted Chemicals When Importing from China

Posted on 7 Comments

REACH China

Get a Free REACH Lab Test Quote Here

REACH is an EU regulation restricting chemicals, heavy metals and pollutants in all products. Products that contain excessive amounts of restricted substances, such as lead or AZO dyes, are illegal to import and sell within the single market.

In this article, I explain how you can determine if REACH testing is necessary for your products, and the steps you must take to properly ensure compliance. That’s why we invited Compliance & Risks, based in Ireland, for help.

In addition, Compliance & risks – a leading product compliance company based in Ireland – answers some of the most common questions importers have about REACH.

Continue reading REACH Compliance & Restricted Chemicals When Importing from China

List of Sourcing Companies in the United Kingdom: Top 7 Agencies

Posted on Leave a comment

UK sourcing agencies

Importing custom designed products from Asia doesn’t always require that you look overseas. In some cases, you can find the best partner closer to home. In this article, we list some of the UK’s leading Asia sourcing and product development companies.

What are the benefits of working with a UK based sourcing company?

If you’re looking to import goods from, for example, China, it’s natural to assume a Chinese sourcing agency know more about their own country – compared to one based outside. While that may be true to some extent, importing products from Asia involves a lot more than finding the right supplier.

In reality, most sourcing companies know little about UK safety standards, product labeling, VAT and customs procedures, which can have severe consequences for you as an importer.

A sourcing agency based in the UK, on the other hand, is far more likely to understand these requirements. Besides, sourcing agencies headquartered in the UK always have subsidiaries or other forms of representation in Asia. Continue reading List of Sourcing Companies in the United Kingdom: Top 7 Agencies

RoHS Compliance When Importing Electronics from China

Posted on 4 Comments

RoHS compliance

Get a Free RoHS Lab Test Quote Here

RoHS restricts heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in electronic products imported and sold in the European Union. RoHS compliance is mandatory, not optional, for importers.

In this article, you will learn how to ensure RoHS compliance when importing from China and selling to the EU:

  • What is RoHS?
  • Restricted RoHS heavy metals
  • Product categories
  • CE marking requirements
  • RoHS marking
  • How to find RoHS compliant components
  • RoHS compliance testing
  • Accredited testing companies
  • RoHS testing costs

RoHS and RoHS 2

RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) is a European Union product certification standard that limits the usage of certain substances (mainly heavy metals) in electronics. The restricted substances are listed below: Continue reading RoHS Compliance When Importing Electronics from China

The Importers Guide to EN Standards: By Ferry Vermeulen

Posted on Leave a comment

european standards

Understanding EN standards, or harmonised standards, is an integral part of ensuring compliance when selling products in the European Union. In this article, Ferry Vermeulen of INSTRKTIV explains what an EN standard is, and what you must know to make sure that your products are fully compliant.

1. What is an EN standard?

EN standards are standards that have been developed by a standardisation institute, mandated by the European Commission and are in order to comply with one or more mandatory essential requirements from a specific European directive.

Products that meet the requirements of harmonised standards [applicable in all EU member states] benefit from a presumption of conformity with the corresponding essential requirements.

Generally speaking, harmonised standards contain the following content:

Scope – Describes the field of application of the standard.

Normative reference – Lists the standards that have been used and which are essential for the correct application of the standard.

Terms and definitions – Describes used terms and definitions.

Requirements – Gives detailed requirements on how to meet the more general product requirements from the related directive.

Warnings, markings, and instructions – Describes how to properly instruct users about product risks and inform them about important product characteristics?

Test methods – Describes how to test if a product meets the requirements and how to document this for the technical file.

2. Where can I find EN standards online?

Whereas directives are mandatory and can be freely accessed via the website of the European Commission, standards are voluntary and need to be purchased.

You can find them for example via the ISO, IEC, DIN or BS website. Continue reading The Importers Guide to EN Standards: By Ferry Vermeulen

EU VAT Registration for American and Asian Importers: A Complete Guide

Posted on Leave a comment

Matthias Oldiges

Businesses in the US and Asia importing or selling products to the European Union must get their act together when it comes to Value Added Tax (VAT). Yet, understanding how to register and pay VAT, as a non-European company, is complicated.

As such, we decided to ask one of the Europes leading VAT experts, Dr. Matthias Oldiges – Managing Associate at KMLZ (Küffner, Maunz, Langer and Zugmaier) in Munich.

These topics are covered:

1. VAT when selling cross-border (B2C) to customers in the European Union as a non-EU company

2. VAT when importing into the European Union (i.e., Amazon FBA) as a non-EU company

3. VAT threshold in different EU states

4. How to get VAT registered as a non-EU company

5. How to pay VAT as a non-EU company

Matthias, how did you end up working for KMLZ?

You can know something about everything or know a lot about something. KMLZ decided on the latter and concentrated on VAT law, customs law and criminal law. I wrote my doctoral thesis on a VAT legal topic.

This ultimately led me to KMLZ, where I have now been working as a lawyer (Managing Associate) for almost six years. We advise our clients on VAT and customs law related matters within Europe, as well as worldwide.

Our strong network of experienced and leading VAT experts, in all Member States of the European Union and beyond, enables us to provide our clients with international advice at the highest levels. Continue reading EU VAT Registration for American and Asian Importers: A Complete Guide

EN 71 & Toy Safety When Importing from China

Posted on 46 Comments

EN 71

Get a Free EN 71 Compliance Quote Here

EN 71 compliance is mandatory when importing toys to the European Union. Yet, many Importers fail to understand that EN 71 compliance is more complex than a printed CE mark.

In this article, we explain what EN 71 really is, and what you must do to ensure that your imported toys are compliant. The alternative is not an option.

What is EN 71?

EN71 is a set of European Product Safety standard that applies to all toys sold in the European Union.

EN 71, which is also a part of the CE directive, has been put in place to ensure that all toys sold in the EU meet certain minimum safety standards on the following factors: Continue reading EN 71 & Toy Safety When Importing from China

VAT on Imported Goods from China: A Complete Guide

Posted on 76 Comments

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

Importers based in the European Union must pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on top of the Customs value. In this article, we help you navigate the complexities of ‘Import VAT’ when buying from China.

Keep reading, and learn more about VAT calculations, and whether or not Import VAT is deductible.

We also explain how and when you declare and pay VAT, and much more.

What is Value Added Tax (VAT)?

VAT is a consumption tax in the European Union. In B2C transactions, VAT is always included in the price. If you, for example, buy a product online from an EU based online store, the price you pay includes VAT.

The seller can then offset the VAT it ads on its sales, to the VAT it paid to other other EU businesses, when buying products or services.

Below follows an example:

  • Sales: $10,000 (Including VAT, 20%)
  • Expenses: $5,000 (Including VAT 20%)

This allows us to make the following calculation.

  • Sales VAT: $2,000
  • Paid VAT: $1,000
  • Total: $2,000 – $1,000 = $1,000

Thus, I would need to pay $1,000 of VAT. If I’d spent more on VAT than I added on top of my sales, I would instead get money back from the state.

Continue reading VAT on Imported Goods from China: A Complete Guide

How to Write a User Manual When Importing Products to the EU: By Tom van de Wiel

Posted on Leave a comment

tom manualise

Product manuals, or user guides, are not just ‘nice to have’. At least if you are importing and selling in the European Union.

They are absolutely essential to many product categories, as product manuals are mandatory.

I am aware of several cases, when the customs authorities have seized shipments, simply because the product was not bundled with a manual.

So, we decided to ask an expert, Tom van de Wiel, CEO of Manualise.

In this interview, with one of Europe’s leading experts in this area, you will learn the following:

  • What kind of products require a manual?
  • In which cases is a product manual not required?
  • What information must be included in the manual?
  • What can happen if I don’t have a manual?

Continue reading How to Write a User Manual When Importing Products to the EU: By Tom van de Wiel