Exporting to the Slovak Republic
The Slovak Republic is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Brussels Tariff Nomenclature applies.
Goods imported to the Slovak Republic are generally subject to the following import duties.
As a member of the WTO, the Slovak Republic has adopted the Brussels Tariff nomenclature. Responsibility for the legislation rests with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy.
Association agreements has been signed with and EFTA (currently in force only with respect to Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland). The Slovak Republic has become a member of the EU from May 1, 2004, and upon its accession all import from EU member countries are duty-free. Bilateral agreements should cover trade with countries that are not due to become EU members in 2004, e.g., Bulgaria and Romania.
The Slovak Republic is a member of CEFTA, together with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia.
Under these agreements, rates of import duty are reduced, in some cases to nil, for goods with their origin in member states of the EFTA or CEFTA. A gradual reduction in duty rates is continuously under way.
Agricultural products have a special regime. Special quota regimes are also in force, but only for certain products that benefit from the reduced duty rates. Upon the Slovak Republic's accession to the EU, agricultural products and some other products are subject to spe-cial production quotas.
Those seeking a reduction in customs duties must file in accordance with the applicable agreement and be able to provide evidence con-firming the origin of the goods (e.g., EUR 1).
An importer must pay value-added tax (VAT) on imported goods, irre-spective of their origin. The tax rate for imported goods is 20 percent, although selected goods have a 14 percent tax rate.
The amount to which import VAT is applied is the total of the customs value of imported goods, the customs duty, excise tax, and charges collected by the customs authorities (if any).
Entities and individuals registered for VAT in the Slovak Republic may recover import VAT. This is permitted only in the VAT period in which the import VAT is actually paid, provided that a valid customs declara-tion is available.
Excise tax is charged on the import of wine, beer, spirits, tobacco products and mineral oils. The rates and other necessary information are included in the particular Acts on excise tax for these groups of goods.
The documentation procedures for the import of goods to the Slovak Republic are quite extensive. Most of the documents are normally completed by the Slovak importer or by the importer's Slovak customs agent.
The Slovak Ministry of Economy has issued a Decree listing all of the goods in respect of which an import licence must be held by the importer. Goods not included in this list may be imported into the Slovak Republic without an import licence.
To confirm that imported goods comply with current Slovak technical standards, Slovak customs authorities may require a Product Certificate before goods can be imported into the Slovak Republic. The certificate can be obtained from the Slovak State Testing Laboratory after appropriate testing has taken place. However, if the product already has a foreign certificate complying with the Slovak requirements, only a certificate of consistency is issued without any prior testing of the product.
Customs and storage
The Ministry of Finance designates both public and private customs storage facilities. These facilities must adhere to the Customs Act. They are located at or near all points of entry into the Slovak Republic.
There are also duty-free customs warehouses available for goods in transit, as well as customs-free zones established for some business operations.
Point of entry and inland transport
Goods can be imported from many of the road, rail, river, or airport border crossings.
Only a legal entity seated in the Slovak Republic or an individual with a permanent address in the Slovak Republic are entitled to import goods into the Slovak Republic directly. A Slovak branch of a foreign entity can only import the goods via a Slovak customs agent acting in its own (the customs agent's) name on behalf of the Slovak branch.