Non Tariff Barriers
In accordance with its European Union membership, Austria complies with all the European Union rules. While the EU has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, there is a certain number of restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on import and export of farm products, aimed at favoring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory.Certain non-tariff barriers also exist in the pharmaceutical, telecom, biotechnology, refrigerant, and legal and accounting services sectors.
Free import to passengers arriving with goods for personal use, purchased in an EU Member State or in the United Kingdom:
1. tobacco products, for passengers aged 17 years of age and older:
- 800 cigarettes; or
- 400 cigarillos (max. 3 grams each); or
- 200 cigars; or
- 1 kilogram smoking tobacco;
2. alcoholic beverages, for passengers aged 17 years of age and older:
- 10 liters of spirits over 22%; or
- 20 liters of alcoholic beverages less than 22%; or
- 90 liters of wine (though no more than 60 liters of sparkling wine); or
- 110 liters of beer.
Free import to passengers arriving from non-EU Member States (incl. Aland Isl., Canary Isl., Channel Isl. and other similar territories) :
1. tobacco products, for passengers aged 17 and older:
- 200 cigarettes; or
- 100 cigarillos (max. 3 grams each); or
- 50 cigars; or
- 250 grams of tobacco; or
- proportional assortment;
2. alcoholic beverages, for passengers aged 17 and older:
- 1 liter of spirits over 22% volume, or non-denatured ethyl alcohol with more than 80% volume; or
- 2 liters of spirits or aperitifs made of wine or similar beverages less than 22% volume, or sparkling wines or liquor wines; or
- a proportional mix of these products; and in addition
- 4 liters of wine; and
- 16 liters of beer;
3. medicinal products sufficient for personal needs;
4. other goods (for air travelers) up to a total value of EUR 430.- per traveler or EUR 150.- (per passenger aged under 15 years).
Products of animal origin, not originating from an EU Member State, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino or Switzerland, are not permitted to be imported into an EU Member State, with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Faroe Isl., Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries.
Imported goods are to be declared at Customs. A Single Administrative Document or SAD is used for this purpose. The Single Administrative Document (SAD) may be submitted to the Austrian Customs Administration physically or through an electronic declaration. For more information click here Hauptzollamt Wien (Central Customs Office, Vienna).
Imported products are subject to a value-added tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer) as they enter the Austrian customs area. The VAT upon importation is calculated based on the customs value of imported goods. The importer is entitled to a VAT refund from the Tax Authority once the imported good is resold or re-exported in the distribution chain.
As a member of the EU, Austria requires import licences for most goods, especially agricultural products. This applies to all countries of origin, including the United States. Special rules apply to particular imports from certain countries, such as shoes made in China. EU import quotas are handled through the granting of import licences to qualified companies. Austrian importers are usually required to show an exporter licence from the supplier country and then obtain an approval to import from the Austrian authorities (Einfuhrbewilligung or import permit)
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy is the licencing authority for most other goods. The import of war material requires a licence and individual approval of each shipment by the Austrian Ministry of Interior.
Goods that are used as and which qualify as samples are eligible for duty-free entry. In order to qualify, they must be of negligible value (EUR 45 or less), consumed or destroyed during demonstration and are packaged and properly marked in a manner which precludes their being used as other than samples. (i.e. foodstuffs, non-alcoholic beverages, perfumes and chemical products). There should not be more than one sample of each style or quality in a consignment.
Austria and the EU use the ATA Carnet Customs procedure used for temporary importation, transit and temporary admission of goods designed for specific purposes, duty-free and tax-free.