Slovenia

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Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands


Import regulations and customs duties

Regulations
In accordance with its European Union membership since May, 1st of 2004, Slovenia applies the European Union trade policy such as antidumping or anti-subsidy measures. The European Union import regime is applied to Slovenia. If Slovenia has adopted the main part of the EU regulations on May, 1st of 2004, a transitional period has been granted to the country regarding some EU rules like freedom of movement for workers or cabotage inside some countries. Moreover, Slovenia has negotiated a delay until 2007 during which marketing authorisations for medicinal products granted under national legislation not compliant with EU law will continue to be valid in that country, but not in the rest of the EU. For further information about each candidate country’s compliance with the acquis, please consult the Enlargement of the EU Guide to the Negotiations published by the European Commission.

While the European Union has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, some products need import licenses. There are some restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on import and export of farm products, aimed at favouring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory.

When being introduced into Slovenia, some products must be "CE" marked in respect to the European Directives adopted on the basis of the New Approach and the Global Approach. For further information, please consult the Guide to the Implementation of Directives based on New Approach and Global Approach.

 


Customs duties
Since its accession to the European Union on May, 1st of 2004, Slovenia has adopted the EU Common External Tariff. Consequently, trade with Slovenia is totally free from customs duties, provided that the country of origin of the goods is one of the other 24 EU Member States. Nevertheless, when introducing goods into Slovenia, exporters shall fill in an intrastat declaration.

When the country of origin of the goods exported to Slovenia is not part of the European Union, customs duties are calculated Ad valorem on the CIF value of the goods, in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff (CCT).

The duties for non-European countries are relatively low, especially for manufactured goods (4.2% on average for the general rate), however textile, clothing items (high duties and quota system) and food-processing industry sectors (average duties of a 17.3% and numerous tariff quotas, PAC) still know protective measures.

In order to get exhaustive regulations and customs tariffs rates regarding their products, exporters shall refer to the TARIC code and its database, which includes all applicable customs duties and all customs trade policy measures for all the goods.

For further information, please consult the information document published by the European Commission about impact of EU enlargement on customs policy.

 


Import taxes
>> To get further information on VAT rates, please check the list of VAT rates applied within the European Union

>> More detailed information on excise duties is available concerning alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, energy products on the European Commission website.

 






Distribution

The old trade companies dominate the distribution circuits and appear to adapt themselves to the new economy in transition. These big companies are at once importers, wholesalers and distributors. At the same time, new companies are emerging and acting as importers or wholesalers.
Importers favour their products specialisation and wholesalers are specialised in a precise region. The new operators intervening in the private sector, work especially in networks and are not essentially wholesalers.
Even if the recent companies turn to retail trade, the sale outlets are old and have too much staff operating there. The places of sale outlets are quite large as compared to the average size and the hypermarkets are quite few.


 


Transportation of goods

By road
Three quarters of the freight traffic is carried out through road transport. The problem is that in this sector the Slovenian road users or foreign road users almost do not respect the regulations. The road network extends over 14,800 km.


By rail
Railway lines carry a quarter of the national freight traffic. Priority is given to the improvement of these infrastructures.


By sea
It is to be known that in the system of maritime transport, there is no direct link between France and Slovenia. One of the important ports in the country is Koper.


By air
There are three important airports in the country : Ljubljana, Marobor and Portoroz.




Standards

The products that satisfy the Slovenian standards are characterised by three letters, namely,JUS. Some standards are obligatory.
The Slovenian Republic's Office for standards and metrology is the competent body dealing with standards and the observance of these standards. The Slovenian standards vary very often as compared to the European ones. Generally the importer must adapt himself to the Slovenian rules: the characteristics of the product must be described in Slovene, the country of origin must be indicated along with weight and ingredients (among others). The Health Institute and the Veterinary Faculty supply lots of information concerning the field of health and cost of laboratory analysis. As for the information relating to packing, information can be obtained from the National Testing Laboratory.



Patents and brands

In Slovenia, the duration of validity of a patent is twenty years. However, at the end of the ninth year during the period of validity, the owner of the patent must prove that his patent corresponds to the initial criteria furnished. If not, the patent is not valid. It is also possible to acquire a patent valid for 10 years. The characteristics of this patent are as follows : the procedure is flexible and the concept of innovation is toned down. These rules are applied in Slovenia. As for foreign companies, Slovenia follows the Paris Convention. This means that a foreign company having applied for a patent in one of the signatory countries also benefits from the protection of its patent in Slovenia within one year. Moreover, Slovenia is signatory to the European Patent Organisation. That is to say that the owner of the patent who is a member of that organisation can extend protection of his patent to different countries (members of that organisation too) by paying registration charges. He can therefore do so in Slovenia, by paying about 200 DEM to a Slovenian office. Rules on patents are consequently the same as the Slovenian ones.
As for trademarks, their protection is valid for ten years and can also be renewed. Trademark counterfeiting can be contested only three years after its registration. Slovenia is a member of the Madrid Convention. The registration of Trademarks is international : the features of protection are also applicable in Slovenia, but only after registration of the trade mark in a Slovenian Office. The rules are the same as those for other trademarks registered in the country.
Industrial designs and models get protection for ten years. The Slovenian protection is limited to an aesthetic character.
The designations of origin. This is a concept that is used by many in Slovenia. The institution responsible for recognition of these Controlled Designations of origin (AOC/CDO) is the Economic Chamber of Slovenia.
As for industrial property, Slovenia concedes the same rights of protection as the European Union subsequent to the signature to an agreement of co-operation between the two parties.

Texts currently applying to patents/brands

  Text Date entered into law Period of validity Comment
Patent Law on Industrial Property. Consolidated text of the Law on Industrial Property of March 20, 1992, as amended and supplemented by the Law amending and supplementing the Law on Industrial Property of May 29, 1993 : 20 years :
Trademark Law on Industrial Property. Consolidated text of the Law on Industrial Property of March 20, 1992, as amended and supplemented by the Law amending and supplementing the Law on Industrial Property of May 29, 1993 : 10 years, renewable for further 10-year periods :
Design Law on Industrial Property. Consolidated text of the Law on Industrial Property of March 20, 1992, as amended and supplemented by the Law amending and supplementing the Law on Industrial Property of May 29, 1993 : 10 years :



 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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