All goods imported into the EU must be declared to the customs authorities of the respective country using the Single Administrative Document (SAD), which is the common import declaration form for all EU countries. This document is used for trade with non-EU countries and for the movement of non-EU goods within the EU.
The SAD may be presented either by:
- Using an approved computerized system linked to customs authorities; or
- Lodging it with the designated customs office.
The main information to be declared includes:
- Identifying data of the parties involved in the operation (importer, exporter, representative, etc.) Custom approved treatment (release for free circulation, release for consumption, temporary importation, transit, etc.)
- Identifying data of the goods (TARIC code, weight, units), location and packaging. Information referring the means of transport
- Data about country of origin, country of export and destination
- Commercial and financial information (Incoterms, invoice value, invoice currency, exchange rate, insurance etc.)
List of documents associated to the SAD include:
- Import licenses, inspection certificates, document of origin, transport document, commercial invoice, insurance documents, and, when required, special certificates of origin, sanitation, ownership, etc.
Companies doing business in the EU or companies exporting to the EU need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (EORI) for Customs Declarations and need to apply for Authorized Economic Operator status. An EORI number is requested from the customs authorities of the EU member state to which the company first exports. Once an operator holds an EORI number s/he can request the Authorized Economic Operator status, which can give quicker access to certain simplified customs procedures. Additional information about the EORI number can be found at Economic Operator Identification and Registration.
U.S. companies seeking information about general EU-wide import requirements are encouraged to check information on the EU website as well as the U.S. Commercial Service’s Commercial Guide for the European Union including information on specific products. Areas covered include circular economy and plastics strategy, the EU Battery Directive, REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances), cosmetics regulations, phytosanitary certifications, and sanitary certifications.