Currently, consumer and professional electronic products are usually subject to customs duties upon import into the EU and other jurisdictions. A new WTO (World Trade Organization) trade agreement on Information Technology – the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) –  has recently been signed and is expected to enter into force on July 1, 2016. The ITA eliminates import duties on a wide range of electronic products imported into the EU and other markets (e.g. US, China and Switzerland).

The product list for which EU import duties will be eliminated includes:

  • Microphones, headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, and their component parts
  • MP3/MP4 players, radio tuners, car stereos, and their component parts
  • DVD, Blu-ray, and HD players and recorders, and their component parts
  • Television cameras, and video cameras, and their component parts
  • e-readers
  • Medical equipment: sophisticated medical equipment such as scanners, machines for magnetic resonance imaging, tomography or dental care and ophthalmology
  • Video games and consoles
  • Multi-component integrated circuits (MCOs)
  • Aerials and aerial reflectors
  • Telecommunication satellites, and their component parts
  • Automotive camera modules
  • Thermometers and pyrometers
  • Instruments for aeronautical and space navigation

What should EU importers do?

Once the ITA enters into force, presumably on July 1, 2016, most of the products (approximately 50%) mentioned in this agreement will attract a 0% import duty rate upon import into the EU. For other ITA products, import duties will be gradually eliminated over a three-year period, for sensitive products this could be up to seven years. The import duties have been eliminated based on the tariff classification of the products. EU importers should therefore carefully review the tariff classification and product descriptions under the ITA against their product portfolio.

Tax Intelligence Solution (TIS)

Meijburg & Co can perform a cost-efficient tariff classification review using our Tax Intelligence Solution (TIS). This customs data analytics tool provides a factual overview of your company’s customs activities for ITA import duty savings purposes. TIS is also used as a periodic monitoring support solution in tax / customs control frameworks.