Updated 04. 2010
The selling of goods is governed by the Commercial Code and the Civil Code.
The Ministry of the Economy is the central administrative body dealing with the single market, international trade and consumer protection.
The free movement of goods may be restricted only in exceptional circumstances - justified by issues of public interest, such as protecting public health and safety, the environment or consumers. Restrictions must be proportionate.
Restrictions on the free movement of goods may also take the form of preventative measures in cases where a product may pose a threat to humans, animals, plants or the environment. Such restrictions must be supported by scientific data.
The Consumer Protection Act defines the rights of consumers and the duties of producers, sellers, importers and suppliers, the powers of government bodies in the area of consumer protection and the status of legal entities established or set up to protect the consumer.
Goods must be properly labelled in Slovak and the consumer must be informed of the 'best before' date, the materials used to make the product, the price, the method of storage (depending on the type of product) and the warranty. For food, this shall last for a minimum of 24 months.
The Food Act stipulates the conditions for producing food and other edibles, and handling and marketing them, in the interests of supporting and protecting human health and protecting the consumer on the food market, as well as tasks related to monitoring compliance with these conditions.
The Food Codex of the Slovak Republic stipulates the requirements for food safety, hygiene, composition, quality and ingredients, the technical processes used to produce food, the packaging requirements for individual foods, categories of food or all types of food, the scope and method of labelling, storage, transport, handling and circulation, as well as the principles for selecting and analysing samples.
The central government body for the area of food is the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture.
State monitoring of the selling of products and the provision of services to consumers on the internal market are governed by the Act on State Monitoring of the Internal Market in Consumer Protection Matters. The monitoring body for the internal market is the Slovak Trade Inspectorate.
The Slovak Trade Inspectorate monitors the market with a view to ensuring consumer protection. It monitors whether products and services are being sold and provided safely, and in the correct quantities, measures, weights and quality.
Excise duty is made up a group of indirect taxes of a selective nature, which apply only to selected types of goods. We apply them to purchases of beer, wine, tobacco and tobacco products, spirits and mineral oils - petrol and diesel, coal, electricity and natural gas.
Trade licensing requirements
A trade is a systematic activity carried out independently in your own name, at your own responsibility, with the aim of making a profit and under the conditions stipulated by the Trade Licensing Act.
The general conditions for pursuing a trade are:
- to be 18 years old,
- legal capacity,
- good character.
Permits and licences
District offices fulfil the role of single contact points, while regional offices issue documents on the nature and length of experience in activities defined as trades.
Individuals applying for a concession shall include in the notification of the trade the information necessary for requesting an excerpt from the Criminal Register. At the same time as notifying the trade they shall state the information required under specific acts.
Legal entities - founders and other persons or bodies shall attach to the notification of a trade evidence of the founding (setting up) of the legal entity.
At the same as notifying a trade, a legal entity shall include data on:
- completion of income tax registration and the obligation to notify,
- registration with the mandatory health insurance system.
An administrative fee is levied for trade notifications, in accordance with the Act on Administrative Fees.
After the prescribed particulars and conditions stipulated in the Trade Licensing Act have been satisfied, the Trade Licensing Office shall issue a Trading Licence at the latest within 5 working days of the date of delivery of the trade notification and the excerpts from the Criminal Register.
International VAT number
The tax office assigns taxpayers a VAT number containing the prefix SK, which makes it clear that the person concerned is VAT registered in Slovakia. Taxpayers use this identification number when doing business within the framework of the EU single market.
Taxpayers who have achieved a turnover of EUR 49,790 over the previous 12 consecutive months at most must apply to the tax office for tax registration. The application shall be submitted by the 20th day of the calendar month following the month in which the aforementioned turnover was achieved.
Taxpayers must, within 25 days of the end of a tax period, submit a tax return and pay their own tax within the same deadline.
Taxpayers must draw up an invoice for every supply of goods or services on the domestic market for taxable persons and for legal entities which are not taxable persons. Taxpayers shall draw up invoices at the latest within 15 days of the date on which the tax obligation arises. The particulars which must be included in an invoice are stated in the:
Sale of goods declaration
Taxpayers must keep detailed records for individual tax periods concerning goods and services supplied and goods and services received. They shall state in the records the tax periods in which they applied tax deductions or proportional tax deductions. For the purposes of tax deductions, taxpayers shall keep records which are ordered by the goods and services that are tax deductible, those that are not tax deductible and those that are proportionally deductible.
The INTRASTAT system is a statistical survey system which applies to systems and goods which go outside the external borders of the EU when moving from one Member State to another. For the purposes of the INTRASTAT-SK system, the term 'goods' covers all material assets, including electrical energy, gas and water.
The Slovak Statistical Office makes a separate distinction every year for the arrival and dispatch of goods between the threshold of exemption and the threshold of simplification. For 2010 the following apply:
- an exemption threshold of EUR 200,000 for arrivals and EUR 400,000 EUR for dispatches
- a simplification threshold of EUR 800,000 for arrivals and EUR 2,000,000 for dispatches
Suspending tariffs or obtaining new tariff quotas
Customs regulations apply only to the import, export and transit of goods from a territory or to a territory outside the EU. The government bodies for the area of customs are the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Administration.
Decisions on the exemption of goods from import duty are issued on the basis of an application.
Individuals carrying a sum in cash of EUR 10,000 or more must declare this in writing to the relevant customs body on the form which is provided in Annex No 1 to the Customs Act as a sample.
International transport document
The CMR note serves as proof of the acceptance of the forwarding conditions of the CMR Agreement and at the same time as proof of the conclusion of a forwarding contract under the provisions of the CMR Agreement. However, it is also a document on the acceptance of a consignment by the carrier and it is marked as a declaration document.
A CMR note is issued in three copies - one each for the sender, the recipient and the carrier. Any other copies (black) are designated for customs bodies, forwarding agents and so on.
A debtor who fails to pay his debt duly and on time is in default. If he also fails to pay it within a reasonable additional time period granted by the creditor, the creditor has the right to withdraw from the contract. The recovery of monies owing is governed by the Civil Code.
A creditor may make a claim for payment from the debtor through the courts - by filing a bankruptcy petition. Creditors usually try to avoid such costly procedures by obtaining payment via non-judicial means or by selling the receivable.
The Ministry of Economy runs the Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Economic Growth'. Through the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO), this provides support for implementing projects which boost investment and trade in the business sector.
A system of financial support tools exists for businesses, the aim of which is to maintain product quality. Part of this includes support for selling Slovak goods at trade fairs, exhibitions, trade missions and conferences and for attending conventions held for subcontractors.