Import and export licensing
The most common questions in reference to the import and export of goods to and from Poland are about licenses that might be required if it is not local import. In the following section, local import refers to import within the European Union member states.
CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) import licenses are required for several products imported from non-EU countries into any country within the EU. Such import licenses, often referred to as the AGRIM Certificates, and are issued in Poland by the Agricultural Market Agency (Agencja Rynku Rolnego).
Other required certificates are approvals that must be issued prior to the introduction of goods to the Polish market. This applies to the importers of products that are new to the Polish market, and who must request product approval from the National Institute of Public Health – the National Institute of Hygiene (Narodowy Instytut Zdrowia Publicznego – Panstwowy Zakład Higieny) Once approval is granted, the goods may be imported to Poland. If a license has already been issued in another EU country, it remains valid in every state that is a member to EU.
The Customs Service (Służba Celna) has an official Tariff Browser (a module of the Integrated Tariff System – ISZTAR), that provides information on tariffs of goods in international trade. The Tariff Browser contains data from the TARIC system (goods nomenclature, duty rates, restrictions, tariff quotas, tariff ceilings and suspensions) as well as national provisions (VAT, excise tax, restrictions and nontariff measures). The Browser is maintained by the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finances within the framework of the Integrated Customs Tariff Information System – ISZTAR3. The Browser also provides detailed information concerning commodity turnover to Customs Administration and to all involved.
The principal roles of the Customs Service include:
- exercising customs control on the international commercial exchange,
- calculating and collecting customs duties and taxes,
- undertaking steps against smuggling and counteracting customs fraud.
While performing these roles, the Customs Service must fulfill a series of duties, most importantly, apart from their fiscal function, their task is the protection of:
- national industry – against goods which would adversely affect the conditions of competition in the country,
- natural environment – against entry of hazardous substances and micro-organisms,
- world fauna and flora – against illegal predatory circulation of endangered species,
- consumers – against goods which are substandard with respect to Polish norms or whose period of use has expired,
- society – against the entry of goods, items or appliances which are hazardous to life, health and safety of citizens or would jeopardise the country’s security (e.g. weapons, paralyzing gases etc.),
- the State – against the loss of cultural heritage (primarily against the exportation of goods with cultural value),
- authors, artists, industrial and commercial rights owners – against infringement of intellectual property rights, trademark and patent rights etc.
and control the area of:
- the State’s customs policy instruments, regulating the targets and volumes of international trade (e.g. monitoring the execution of customs quotas),
- the enforcement of national and international regulations relating to prohibitions and restrictions in the international trade, the enforcement of regulations regarding permissible load of vehicles to ensure proper use of roads by carriers, and the enforcement of agreements concerning customs prevention with Poland being an involved party,
- foreign currency control, including combating so- called money laundering. In order to discharge the above-described roles and responsibilities, the Customs Service co-operates with the other State’s authorities, such as the Police, border control, general customs inspectorate and tax authorities. Customs and investigation services from other countries, commercial organisations, research and scientific institutes, universities and similar organizations are also involved in the performance of these duties.
Upon encountering goods potentially violating intellectual property rights, Customs Authorities might decide to suspend their decision to release or detain such goods. Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council 12th June 2013, provides the relevant procedures for such an instance.
Source: Polish Investment and Trade Agnecy, Poland your business Partner. Invest in Poland, 2016.