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Selling US Goods and Services in the EU

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MR-183 Fighting Late Payments in the EU

Many payments in commercial transactions are delayed or late, resulting in losses to businesses especially small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to the European Commission (EC) this costs Europe 450,000 jobs and $32 billion every year. This report explains the rules and protection mechanisms introduced by Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions that is designed to alter the late payment culture in Europe. The Directive applies to all commercial transactions in business-to-business (B2B) and in public-authorities-to-business (PA2B) but does NOT apply to business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. U.S. businesses should take this Directive into account for all the contracts they sign that fall under a European country’s law.

MR-161 VAT impact on US businesses

This report provides an overview of the EU’s VAT rules and how they impact U.S. exporters of goods and services to the EU.  VAT is a consumption tax that is charged on most goods and services sold in the EU.  The lists of VAT exemptions are defined by the individual EU Member States and thus vary from country to country.  While the guidelines for VAT policy are set at the EU level, the Member States implement, administer and enforce the rules. Therefore, while the EU sets minimum rates, Member States define their own VAT rates, which currently vary between 17%-27%.  Member States, at their discretion, may apply reduced rates for specific goods and services, or even temporary derogations.  This report focuses on the basic set of principles that will help U.S. companies understand and navigate the VAT system.

MR-157 Selling goods and services to EU institutions (2014)

There are various ways to sell goods and services to European institutions. This report outlines some of the most useful websites that vendors should be familiar with in order to bid on contracts with European institutions. For example, the European Commission, the Council Secretariat and the European Parliament all need a wide array of goods and services, ranging from consultancy on policies and legislation, to office equipment and data management systems. For example, around 9,000 contracts are awarded each year through public procurement procedures by the European Commission. This may be a business opportunity for your company!

MR 130 – Understanding EU Customs (update 2013)

This report aims to help companies understand the EU’s customs classification and tariffs system, as well as to provide information on customs advocacy Although the European Union is a customs union with a Community Customs Code and a harmonized tariff system for product classification, customs administration is a Member State activity. As a result some important actions of individual Member State customs authorities are handled differently, resulting in variations from country to country. 

MR-161 How the EU VAT impacts U.S. experts (update 2013)

Understanding the European Union’s Value Added Tax (VAT) rules can seem daunting for US exporters. It is a complex area with multiple rules and multiple exceptions to those rules. Nevertheless there are some basic principles that underpin the system and this report focuses on those. This report examines the different ways in which EU VAT law impacts U.S. exporters supplying goods and services to EU customers, both from the U.S. and from within the EU.

MR-109 / The New Machine Directive

Machines are subject to product safety requirements in the European Union. At the end of 2009, the legislation currently in force (Directive 98/37/EC) will be replaced by the recently adopted "New Machinery Directive" 2006/42/EC. This report will focus on the steps to comply with the new machinery directive, highlighting some of the changes compared to the existing legislation. Manufacturers who already sell on the EU market will want to consider the implications of the new machinery directive for their product.

MR-103 / European Union: EU Marking, Labeling and Packaging- An Overview

There is a broad array of EU legislation pertaining to the marking, labeling and packaging of products, with neither an “umbrella” law covering all goods nor any central directory containing information on marking, labeling and packaging requirements. This overview is meant to provide the reader with a general introduction to the multitude of marking, labeling and packing requirements or marketing tools to be found in the EU.

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