How to Import from China to North Macedonia: Duties, Permits, and Customs Clearance

Basic knowledge of imports in Macedonia offers German exporters a brief overview of the most important customs and import regulations of the EU candidate countries.

Import duties and other import duties

Macedonia is a member of the WTO. The combined nomenclature applies. The tax base for customs is usually the CIF value. Preferential tariff rates are applied for the EU (according to the Stabilization and Association Agreement), CEFTA, EFTA, Ukraine and Turkey. For almost all goods with preferential origin of the EU there is duty-free. There are tariff quotas for preferential imports of some agricultural products from the EU. This affects milk, dairy products, meat and sugar, among others. Imports of these products in excess of the quotas are subject to a higher duty rate.
The import sales tax is 18%, the reduced rate 5%. The reduced tax rate of 5% applies, for example, to certain foodstuffs, pesticides, goods made of paper and to certain orthopedic and medical goods. Alcohol, tobacco products, mineral oils and passenger cars are subject to excise duty. Macedonia’s customs duties and other import duties can be accessed free of charge in the EU’s market access database,

Customs clearance

Basically, the following clearance options are available: clearance for free circulation, transit, temporary use, processing, bonded warehouse, goods processing under customs supervision and export. Internet address of the Macedonian Customs Administration:

Import permits

Some goods, such as chemical products or live animals, require import permits. Depending on the type of goods, other approval bodies may be responsible, such as the Ministry of the Environment or the Ministry of Economics. Whether an import permit is required for a certain product and which institution is responsible can also be researched in the Macedonian “single window” system EXIM by specifying the customs tariff number.

Accompanying documents

The following must always be enclosed with the customs declaration: Freight documents, commercial invoice with all customary information, possibly a packing list and, if applicable, a proof of preference (EUR.1) for goods with EU origin or a declaration of origin on the invoice for a goods value of up to 6,000 euros. A certificate of origin is generally not required, but can be requested by the importer. Phytosanitary certificates must be submitted for plants, parts of plants and seeds. Veterinary certificates are required for live animals and animal products.

Import bans

A few goods that endanger national security, human health, the environment or intellectual property are prohibited from importing. For example, certain chemical products and preparations, asbestos, mercury, ozone-depleting substances and cars that do not meet the EURO 3 emissions standard are prohibited.

Norms and standards

Macedonia tries to harmonize its own country-specific standards and norms with the internationally recognized norms. Certain products such as electrical devices, machines or measuring instruments are subject to a conformity test when they are imported. The internationally common ISO / IEC standards or EN standards are increasingly being used. Certificates of conformity and markings issued abroad that are in accordance with the conventions signed by Macedonia are generally recognized.

The standardization institute ISRM (Institut za standardizacija) is responsible for the implementation of the standards in the FYR Macedonia. The ISRM is a member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). The office for metrology (Biro za metrologija) is responsible, among other things, for the conformity tests of measuring instruments, vehicles and precious metals.

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