The customs union means that no import or export duties or quantitative restrictions apply within the European single market. Common customs tariffs apply to non-Member States. Customs controls only occur at the external borders of the single market. However, Austrian law contains certain regulations that must be taken into account:
The Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth has the power to stipulate that certain goods can only be exported from Austria to other EU states, or from other EU states to Austria if the shipments have been approved. If shipments have received comparable approval in another EU state, this may be recognised in Austria.
In principle, no quantitative restrictions apply to the importing of goods within the European Union. However, the import of textile and clothing products and iron and steel products is subject to approval, declaration and surveillance under Council Directive (EEC) No 3030/93 and Commission Directive (EC) No 76/2002).
In Austria, notification and approval requirements apply to the export of certain goods to other EU Member States. These requirements are set out in Article 9 of the Foreign Trade Act and the Foreign Trade Decree.
There is a common customs tariff and no customs duties apply to trade between Austria and other EU states. The following information must also be taken into consideration for import or export within the EU customs union:
International VAT number
The VAT Act contains the tax regulations for trade within the EU.
Companies intending to sell goods throughout the EU require an international VAT number. Applications must be submitted in writing to the tax authority.
Companies wishing to determine whether their business partners’ VAT numbers are valid in other EU states can have this checked by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Submission of statistical returns
Companies are required to submit statistical returns (Intrastat returns) to Statistics Austria about trade with other EU states. These returns are regulated by Articles 4 to 13 of Trade Statistics Act and Trade Statistics Decree.
Companies that ship goods to other EU states must notify the authorities about non-taxableshipments of goods within the EU. These notifications must always be submitted electronically via FinanzOnline.
Advantage Austria is a web portal with information about Austrian branches of trade, Austrian companies and events for foreign companies hoping to develop business relationships in Austria. Austrian companies can view information about business abroad and find cooperation partners for foreign trade.
Useful information for people living and working in Austria is available from HELP, the Austrian government help service or the Business Service Portal USP.
The binding customs tariff ruling (VZTA) specifies how goods are classified within the common EU customs tariff and is legally binding.