The documents required from the exporter include a commercial invoice, a bill of lading, and other special certifications as may be necessary. Certificate of origin (or certification of origin as part of the invoice) is required for textile products.
There are no stipulations as to the form of commercial invoices, bills of lading, or other shipping documents. According to both the Swedish and EU customs regulations the invoice must contain the following information:
- Name and address of the seller
- Name and address of the buyer
- Date the invoice was issued
- Number and type of packages, gross weight and information on how the packages are marked
- Trade description of the goods
- Price for each item
- Discounts, if any, and what kind
- Delivery and payment terms A pro-forma invoice may be presented for shipments that are free of charge, such as:
- Replacement deliveries and commodities supplied under guarantee
- Samples and advertising items
- Goods returned to sender
- Printed advertising materials
Shipping documents may be made out in the English language. The standard bill of lading (or an airway bill) suffices for shipments to Sweden. The bill of lading should be completed in accordance with the invoice.
Sanitary certificates, showing the country of origin, are required for goods that may carry contagious animal or vegetable diseases or for goods for which special stipulations are prescribed. Goods subject to these sanitary certificates include live animals, animal products (meat, meat products and animal feed) and vegetable products such as potatoes, live plants and seeds. The certificate must be authorized by a competent legal authority in the country of production or export.
EU battery rules changed in September 2006 following the publication of the Directive on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators (Directive 2006/66). This Directive replaces the original Battery Directive of 1991 (Directive 91/157). The updated Directive applies to all batteries and accumulators put on the EU market including automotive, industrial and portable batteries. It aims to protect the environment by restricting the sale of batteries and accumulators that contain mercury or cadmium (with an exemption for emergency and alarm systems, medical equipment and cordless power tools) and by promoting a high level of collection and recycling. It places the responsibility on producers to finance the costs associated with the collection, treatment, and recycling of used batteries and accumulators. The Directive also includes provisions on the labeling of batteries and their removability from equipment.
REACH is a major reform of EU chemicals policy that was adopted in December 2006 and became national law in the 27 EU Member States in June 2007 (Regulation 1907/2006). Virtually every industrial sector, from automobiles to textiles, is affected by the new policy. REACH stands for the "Registration, Evaluation and Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals." Since June 1 2008, REACH requires chemicals produced or imported into the EU in volumes above 1 ton per year per to be registered with a central European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), including information on their properties, uses and safe ways of handling them. Chemicals pre-registered before December 1 2008, benefit from extended registration deadlines, from three to eleven years depending on the volume of the substance and its hazard properties. U.S. companies without a presence in Europe cannot register directly and must have their chemicals registered through their importer or EU-based ‘Only Representative of non-EU manufacturer’.
U.S. exporters to the EU should carefully consider the REACH ‘Candidate List’ of substances of very high concern. Substances on that list are subject to communication requirements and may at a later stage require Authorization for the EU market.
WEEE & RoHS
EU rules on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), while not requiring specific customs or import paperwork, may entail a financial obligation for U.S. exporters. They require U.S. exporters to register the products with a national WEEE authority, or arrange for this to be done by a local partner. Similarly, related rules for EEE restricting the use of the hazardous substances (RoHS) lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, PBBs, and PBDEs, do not entail customs or importation paperwork. However, U.S. exporters may be asked by a European RoHS enforcement authority or by a customer to provide evidence of due diligence in compliance with the substance bans on a case-by-case basis. The WEEE and RoHS Directives are currently being revised to enlarge the scope and add substances to be banned in electrical and electronic equipment; the new rules could take effect as early as 2011. U.S. exporters