Due to the international regulations within the European Union, trade between member countries of the union is not considered import/export. When it comes to products coming into the EU market from the outside, some various rules and requirements apply to importers and they tend to vary, depending on the particular trade agreement. At the moment, there are 36 preferential trade agreements in place, with countries from all over the planet. You can read up-to-date information about all those particular partnerships and ongoing negotiations on the European Commission’s official website.
Basically, there are three types of forms of agreements that shape the import laws: custom unions (which either completely annulate duties between parties or establish joint tariffs); association, stabilization, and free trade agreements which remove or reduce customs tariffs, and finally there are partnership and cooperation agreements, which do not impact the tariffs but establish other rules for bilateral relations.
If you are an aspiring exporter to European Union, these are the basic points to consider before starting your business.
The person importing goods into the EU, according to the customs laws, must be a resident of the Union. They are eligible to apply for customs clearance and they pay import duties. If the importer is not a private person, and if they plan to import from you more often than 10 times a year, they do also need to have an EORI number, for which they apply at the customs before the trade begins.
The list of items that are either banned or restricted is vast. It includes endangered species and products made of their parts, certain literature, as well as items protected because of industrial and intellectual property rights. Due to strict regulations regarding food production, many items cannot be imported by European Union countries as well.
To speed up the application process at the customs, clients use specific custom tariff numbers that help establish the content, material, modes of production of the goods, and contain as much detail about the product as possible.
When it comes to the amount paid to the customs, it is based on the trade value of goods imported into the EU - that includes production costs, transportation, insurance, etc.
There is a range of products that can be re-imported into the EU duty-free within 3 years. Samples, goods for testing can be also imported without the duty, while other exemptions and reductions are included in the trade agreements between various countries. It’s worthwhile consulting before you start your business which of these apply to you.
Businesses exporting goods and services to Europe too often rely on needlessly complex and expensive SWIFT transfers. Their profit margins are reduced by up to 20%, thanks to conversion rate fees that apply to international transfers, often because money travels through multiple currencies and countries. And it takes time.
This is why we created a solution for our international customers and aspiring international businesses interested in accessing the European market: a virtual bank account inside the EU. It allows you to receive payments from the majority of European countries, and all of the EU member states. These transfers take a maximum of 24 hours, oftentimes just minutes, to arrive on your account. And they cost up to 80% less than the traditional SWIFT transfer.
Exporters and importers are currently underserved by most banks. Traditional banks lack innovative and secure tools that could improve the status quo. For instance, exporters and importers must be close to their customers to curate the best customer service experience. Yet, slow, expensive international payments make this difficult, if not impossible. What importers and exporters need are banking services that are flexible enough to allow them to focus on their customers and the quality of their products and services, instead of spending time and money waiting for the transfers to make it to their accounts.
Virtual banks allow for more flexibility in terms of payments and managing foreign currency risk. VBAs allow importers and exporters to operate as if their businesses were located in Europe and had access to quick, international, and domestic transfers. You get notified the moment money arrives, save on currency exchange and skip the trouble with hedging.
Improved customer service
An Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer exports products worth €50,000 to Germany. After his customer receives the shipment, they instruct their bank to make a payment of €50,000 to the bank account in India, in Rupees. The exporter receives the payment in rupees minus the currency exchange and minus the transfer fees, ranging between 3%-6% of the total amount. This can add up to 20% of their profit margin. With B2B Pay’s virtual bank account, this problem would have been entirely avoided: the transfer fee is only 1% and the money arrives within a day.
What do importers in Europe need?
Europe is home to just about 10% of the world's population, yet it accounts for 1/3 of the world's economy and is one of the key importers on the planet. Of that, SMEs account for 300 billion Euros every year. These transactions unfortunately are often lagging in terms of cost efficiency due to excessive conversion rates charged by banks. With banking primed to go through substantial changes in the coming years, B2B importers and exporters of all sizes must be ready to adopt new technologies such as blockchain, virtual bank accounts, and virtual API integration to improve their services. The biggest traders in Europe are already doing it.
Without B2B Pay, your company:
- Cannot open a bank account in Europe
- Cannot collect or send domestic wire transfers (SEPA Payments) within Europe
- Pays SWIFT fee of €30
- Pays currency conversion cost of 3-6%
- Cannot access local (European) payment gateways
- Suffers the frustration of bureaucratic banking processes
- Cannot collect payments from marketplaces like Amazon
- Waits 2-5 days for a transfer
With B2B Pay, your company:
- Receives SEPA payments from 36 EU countries for free within 2-24 hours
- Makes SEPA payments to 36 EU countries
- Saves €30 SWIFT charges and +80% on FX
- Takes advantage of FX conversion automation
- Uses an IBAN to integrate with marketplaces and payment gateways
- Accesses premium brokers to make global payments in 138 currencies
- Gets instant notifications of incoming payments
- Takes advantage of online onboarding
B2B exporters: Simple, fast, transparent, and low-cost international financial transactions with B2B Pay
Every successful import/export business in the EU and beyond uses a B2B payment system that expedites their payment while keeping the process straightforward and as inexpensive as possible. B2B Pay is a Finnish B2B payment system that enables SME importers and exporters to succeed by simplifying international transactions thanks to the access we provide to European virtual accounts.
How does your business benefit from our solutions? Here is a list of solutions we’ve implemented, increasing your security (expect state-of-the-art technological solutions), trust, and control over your financial affairs.
- We equip you with an IBAN account, allowing for cheap/free of charge, same-day transfers in Euro currency within the European Union and among its SEPA partner countries.
- We provide your company with various bank accounts in multiple currencies (at the moment we work with 30 different currencies), ensuring that your money flows as quickly as possible. We also take care of the transaction fees and currency exchange rates, always providing you with the best available offers.
- Our mission is to ensure maximum transparency. This includes tracking your transactions in real-time, competitive, and transparent rates applied to your payments, as well as hedging solutions that allow for more safety facing market volatility.
Get one and watch your business grow and thrive.