On this page we would like to tell you which trade compliance obligations you should be taking into account as a producer in the Electronics & Telecommunications industry regarding Export documents, Environmental obligations, Customs obligations, VAT declarations & Intrastat declarations.
The Electronics & Telecommunications industry often involves a spare parts flow. It is important to make it transparent in order to ensure a speedy global process. In this way, you are able to monitor (Customs) lead times.
HS classification of products should be looked at carefully due to large differences in import duties. Most of the products will be subject to an import duty rate of 0%. For other (consumer) electronic products, a higher rate is applicable. As an example, for a television a higher rate applies, whilst for a monitor, which is almost an identical product, the 0% rate applies. This is due, for example, to the fact that an IT Information Technology Agreement (ITA) has been concluded.
The ITA covers a large number of high technology products, including computers, telecommunication equipment, semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing and testing equipment, software, scientific instruments, as well as most of the parts and accessories of these products.
Electronica & Telecommunication equipment may also require an export license, for example because they can also be used for military use (so-called dual-use goods). Think of radio equipment that can be used to block signals or detonate explosives remotely. Pincvision can help to secure / improve the quality of your broker(s). Pincvision also specializes in the classification of goods at both HS and dual use levels.
The Waste Electronic and Electric Equipment (WEEE) Directive for the Electronics and Telecommunications industry applies only to finished products, not to components. The implementation of this directive may vary from country to country.
As a manufacturer in the Electronics and Telecommunications industry, you must take into account that all finished products with a power plug fall under the scope of the WEEE directive.
The battery directive is applicable to built-in batteries and subsequently delivered batteries. When you exceed the applicable threshold in a country, you are obliged to submit battery declarations on a periodic basis. For example, a mobile phone.
With regard to the packaging directive, you must state the materials of your product packaging. Please note that this obligation does not apply in the same way in all EU countries. Our Compliance Specialists can tell you everything about this topic. The packaging directive applies to primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. Take a mobile phone as an example:
- Primary packaging contains all the packaging material that embraces the mobile phone when you buy it. You may think of the little box containing the phone, the plastic material that protects the screen and the plastic in which the earplugs are packaged.
- Secondary packaging means the packaging that is used to group several primary products together. Think of multiple boxes packaged together in one big box. This big box is an example of secondary packaging.
- Tertiary packaging contains all packaging material that is used to transport these boxes. You can think of pallets or protective material that surrounds the boxes.
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Depending on the country of destination it may be required to prove the origin of your goods in the form of a:
- Certificate of Origin (CO), possibly complemented by a legalized invoice. Both documents need to be digitally attested by the Chamber of Commerce. An additional requirement may be that the documents need legalization by an Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- EUR.1 certificate/EURMED or an invoice declaration may be possible where the country of destination has a free trade agreement with the European Union. You will pay less or no import duties.
- Certificate of Conformity (CoC). When exporting to countries in the Middle-East and/or Africa please keep in mind the applicable conformity programs, such as PSI and PCA. For this you will need a CoC which is used to prove that your products are pre-registered and tested to (for example) country specific technical specifications and consumer safety standards.
For Electronics & Telecommunications equipment, you must also take into account product safety and other technical standards, as your goods may need to be adjusted to meet the rules of your export market.
Products such as telephones, network equipment, e-readers, screens, loudspeakers and computers often require export documentation. The documents you need and which document you can use best, varies per country to which you send your products.
The Electronics & Telecommunications industry also includes non-tangible products such as e-services, software and other telecommunications and broadcasting services. Generally, no origin documents are required for this type of products. You can make use of our "Export Documents in Control" solution to ensure that your export documents process becomes a controlled & worry-free process!
Should you deliver goods within the European Union (EU) you will often also face Intrastat obligations. With the advent of free trade within the EU, Intrastat is being introduced. A statistical requirement by which organization's declare to the local statistical bureaus how much they are 'exporting & importing' within the EU. Every country knows its own thresholds and deadlines.
Please ensure your Intrastat declarations are well managed as errors in this process may cause authorities to perform an audit. Not just covering Intrastat but often combined with your VAT processes.
From the flow of goods, agreements on transportation, import & export duties may arise VAT obligations in other countries. This usually leads to:
- VAT registration(s)
- Invoice requirements
- Declaration obligation (with or without a payment obligation).
- Other local declaration requirements, like SII reporting in Spain, SAF-T in Poland and the VAT book in the Czech Republic.
In various countries VAT deferment rules may apply for specific goods, mainly for consumer electronics.
With respect to import, you need to look carefully at the deductibility of the VAT due to applied various domestic reverse charge and VAT deferment rules.
For intangible products like e-services, software and other telecommunications & broadcasting services the rules for the place of the service are of great importance. Especially when it comes to B2C deliveries. This leads to various VAT compliance obligations within and outside the EU. Outside the EU, more and more a registration obligations for e-services is being introduced. This means that the local VAT rate needs to be calculated.
VAT MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) can possibly be applied. Additionally, you should consider the invoicing obligations. When using MOSS, you can deliver the following services within the EU without having to re-register in every EU country:
- Telecommunications services
- Television and radio broadcasting services
- Online services (so-called e-services)
Even if your company is not established in the European Union, you can benefit from this as there are two variants: one for companies within the EU (the Union scheme) and one for companies outside the EU (the non-Union scheme).
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