Slovenia is a member of the EU since January 1st, 2004 and as such is a member of the EU Customs Union.
Non Tariff Barriers
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.
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 favoring 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.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Slovenia is a member of the EU and fully accepts its foreign trade policy. Operations carried out within the EEA are free of duty. The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, especially for industrial products (4.2% on average). Tariffs for EU origin can be found on TARIC Consultation Website.
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).
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.
Since its accession to the EU 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 EU Member States. Nevertheless, when introducing goods into Slovenia, exporters shall fill in written customs declaration on a SAD (Single Administrative Document, Slovenian abbreviation is EUL).
As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.
For samples an import document is not necessary in case the sample is of minimum value, not appropriate for sale or intended for trade show - they have to be classified as such and their volume should be appropriate. They can be released for circulation afterwards but only after the full duly import procedure.
Most of the time Slovenian consumer is generally well informed but rather a conservative one: prefers domestic and known brands to unknown brands or products from distant (non-European) countries. With the increase of purchasing power over the last decade, the expenditure share of non-food products and services increased.
With increased retail competition Slovenian consumer is becoming more demanding: compares information on the Internet; looks for a transparent and exhaustive information on the product label (in local language!); desires to purchase fast moving consumer goods quickly and conveniently; aspires for social responsibility . With the world crisis 2008-2009, Slovenian consumer is turning back to its roots looking more and more for a good value for its money. Traditionally, the typical Slovenian consumer spends rather more for quality satisfaction of some basic needs, education (especially for children), homes and cars than for cosmetic, jewelry and trendy outfit. A Slovenian consumer also is keen to spend money from time to time for culture and humanitarian purposes.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
According to one life-style research, Slovenia has by far the highest share of predominantly work oriented people in the region and slightly higher share of relaxed older people. On the other hand, Slovenia has the smallest share of people that are mainly oriented towards self-exploring (age 15-33, lower educated, unemployed or housewives, of a slight dreamy and hedonistic character). Good balancing between family and professional life is also very important for a typical Slovenian consumer.
ZPS, National independent, non-government, non-profit consumer association (in local language only) UVP, Government consumer protection office
Even though the development of trade in Slovenia is based on domestic players (at least in the beginning), they were actually adapting the process that went on in Western Europe - but faster: building of big malls gathered around one hypermarket on one side and vanishing of small traders within the cities on the other. According to Nielsen research, in 2007 the number of modern big stores (counted per one million of inhabitants) in Slovenia (218) was similar to Belgium (232) or Netherland (211) and the market share of hard discount stores has been increasing with the entrance of Hofer (in Slovenian) (in 2005) and Lidl (en slovène) (in 2007). The major food retailers are Mercator and Tus (both domestic) and Spar, holding around 75% of the market. The trade sector contributes to 12% of Slovenian GDP.
More than two thirds of all transported goods in Slovenia is done by roads. The rest of approx. 30% of transported goods is more or less equally divided by railway (13%) and sea port (12%) while the sea transport reaches up to 5%.
The transport share of GDP is around 7% and in total employment around 5.5%.
Manufacturing contributes 20% of GDP and had a relatively strong growth in the past years. Manufacturing employs more than 25% of the workforce. In terms of the value added, leaders are chemical industry (especially pharmaceutical and rubber tyres), automotive industry, food and beverages, electric domestic appliances, iron metallurgy, metalworking. However, Slovenia is becoming stronger in services: trade, telecommunications, tourism, transport and logistics. Traditionally, Slovenia was relatively strong also in computer software development and electronics.