Export Services

How We Export To Albania & European Union

Customs Valuation
The primary basis for customs valuation is the official list maintained by the Customs Directorate. Each item is assessed at its "appropriate" price, and the taxes are levied based on a governmentally determined fair market price, regardless of actual price paid. The dutiable value is assessed on cost, insurance and freight (CIF). The following duties, taxes and other charges need to be paid to clear the product through Albanian customs.

Duties
Albania is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Currently, in the customs legislation of Albania there are 5 basic custom rates for imports depending on product type: 0 percent, 2 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent and 15 percent. Generally, customs duties apply to almost all products imported to Albania. The average rate is 13 percent. The maximum rate of 15 percent is applied on products such as: textiles, jewelry and some food products. The lowest duty rate of 0 percent is applied mainly for humanitarian aid and waste processing equipment. CEEBIC (Tel: (202) 482-2645) can provide the duty rate if the exporter supplies the Harmonized code for the good. For additional information on tariffs for IT products, click here. Please note, Albania is a signatory to the WTO's Information Technology Agreement (ITA) which requires the elimination of import duties on a wide range of information technology products, including software and computer hardware. In general for the importation of used computer equipment customs duty is assessed on 50 percent of the value of new equipment.

Harmonized codes can be found on the internet by running a key word search on the Census Bureau website at: http://www.census.gov/foreign- trade/schedules/b or by calling the Census Bureau (Tel: (301) 763-3259).

*The duty is assessed on the CIF, or cost, insurance and freight.

Import Tax
A tax of 1% on all imports is applied.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)
The VAT is a European type of sales tax that is applied at all stages of production of a good, including export/import transactions. Albania has a VAT of 20 percent.

*The VAT is assessed on the CIF plus the amount paid on duties.

Excise, Consumption and Luxury Taxes
For various imported luxury products such as soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee, mineral water, perfumes, deoderants, automotive fuel and oil by-products, cigarettes and tobacco, excise taxes also are applied. Excise taxes are determined by the type and quantity of the product and are levied in addition to the customs tariff; the excise tax ranges from 20-65 percent.

Exemptions

Temporary Entry
In order to temporarily import equipment in Albania for samples, testing or research, companies must apply for a license from the Albanian General Directorate of Customs, Department of Procedures. Equipment may remain in the country for up to one year; however, companies have the right to extend the license. Customs duties are not assessed on temporary imports. Albania is not a party to the customs convention on carnet (ATA) for temporary import of goods.

Free Trade Zones/Warehouses
The issue of free trade zones to attract foreign investment has been under consideration for some time. Existing law provides authority to establish free trade zones and a special free trade zone commission has been established by the government to identify potential free trade zone sites. However, no free trade zones or free ports have yet been established.

Membership in Free Trade Agreements

Currently, Albania has free trade agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, and Kosovo.

Import Documentation
A certificate of origin, commercial invoice, bill of lading or airway bill and proof of insurance are required for all imported products.

Quotas
Albania has a liberal trade regime with no quota requirements for imports. This was announced in government decision #450, dated September 16, 1999, which states that no quotas are applied on imports to Albania.

Export Licenses
Most high-tech Western technology can flow into Central and Eastern Europe without a U.S. export license. However, the goods that need an export license are different for every country and the list constantly changes. Generally, defense products and equipment such as optical equipment and software that may have a dual usage do require an export license. Export licenses can be obtained from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) (formerly, BXA at the U.S. Department of Commerce). BIS coordinates the licensing process with the Departments of State and Defense. If an exporter has a good that may need a license, the Export Commodity Control Number (ECCN) must be determined from the manufacturer. The number can also be obtained by filling out the BIS-748 Multipurpose Form, available by calling BIS's form request line (Tel: (202) 482-3332). This form also serves as the application for the export license itself. For specific questions about Export Licenses, call (202) 482-4811.

Standards and Quality Control
A number of products are subject to quality control by market inspection officials at customs offices. These officials are employed by the directorate of standards to ensure that imported goods are in compliance with the domestic standards. The products subject to quality control include most agricultural products, cars and products in which improper quality may pose a health risk to consumers. When applicable, products also must pass sanitary, phytopathologic or veterinary control. Additional information on sanitary requirements can be obtained from the ministry of agriculture.

Albania follows the WTO agreements on sanitary and phytosanitary procedures. To import food and agricultural products, companies must receive a license from the food quality and inspection directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture. In order to import medical products, companies must receive a license from the Ministry of Health. In order to import pharmaceutical products, companies must register the products with the Ministry of Health.

Albania, in large part, adopts standards developed in other countries. ISO and EN are the primary standard making bodies of choice. As of today, Albania does not have any Mutual Recognition Agreements with U.S. organizations.

Labeling and Marking Requirements
Labels must be printed in a language that most Albanians can understand (such as Albanian, Italian, or English). The government decision for putting the labels in the Albanian language to all imported food products entered into force in July 2003. The labels must be in Albanian language will contain a general description of the product, including the date of production and the date of expiration. This decision aims at protecting the Albanian consumers from using expired products. Sources from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food inform that all the imported products that do not have the label in Albanian would not be sold and would be confiscated. No special labeling is required for the importation of used computer equipment.

 

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