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Ecommerce/dropshipping in european union

Offsure

New member
I live in EU and my company is also registered in EU. If I am dropshipping and selling to customers located in EU then how can I make sure that I don't get into trouble? In EU, many products have restrictions and must meet the standard set by EU e.g. cosmetics. For example, atelierdesgirls.com is a store in France dropshipping cosmetics from China. Another example would be cosyberry.com. I am not planning to sell cosmetics but this is the easiest example to use.

Does an EU company need to charge VAT for goods sold outside of EU?
 

xzars

Entrepreneur
If you sell physical goods in EU, you charge VAT - i.e. if customer is in Germany, you typically apply 19%. If you sell outside EU then you do not charge VAT - it will be paid upon import (if a consumption tax exists and is applicable in that other country).

Check the official source: VAT Basic rules

Also look around for VAT registration thresholds - nearly all EU member states have them. If your volumes are low, you may not have an obligation to register for VAT at all. If you purchase raw materials with VAT included in significant amount, it might be beneficial to register for VAT anyhow.
 

Offsure

New member
Thanks a lot xzars! Very useful information. Do you have any idea about the first question that I posted?
 

xzars

Entrepreneur
Thanks a lot xzars! Very useful information. Do you have any idea about the first question that I posted?
What is your first question - how to make sure you don't get in trouble? There's no way I could answer that.
 

Offsure

New member
No, atelierdesgirls.com is a store in France dropshipping cosmetics from China. Another example would be cosyberry.com. But as far as I am aware to sell cosmetics in EU, you need to follow a lot of guidelines (Selling cosmetics in Europe: To do list | EcoMundo ) and those cheaply produced ones cannot meet such requirements set by EU. How are these companies doing it? Is there some part of the law which I don't understand or these dropshippers are taking a risk? I can understand if these companies were offshore and sold in EU but being present in the EU is what makes me wonder how they are doing this.

If there is a EU company selling to EU clients items from China, wouldn't the company get sued for not following guidelines set by EU.
 

xzars

Entrepreneur
... How are these companies doing it? ... If there is a EU company selling to EU clients items from China, wouldn't the company get sued for not following guidelines set by EU.
I don't know a thing about the cosmetics industry. You can fish for information with a bit of bluff.

What you can try is send them an e-mail and threaten to report them to authorities for violating EU rules and selling low quality Chinese product unfit for the EU market. They will either ignore you or tell you exactly why they are compliant :)

Good luck!
 

Offsure

New member
I don't know a thing about the cosmetics industry. You can fish for information with a bit of bluff.

What you can try is send them an e-mail and threaten to report them to authorities for violating EU rules and selling low quality Chinese product unfit for the EU market. They will either ignore you or tell you exactly why they are compliant :)

Good luck!
Thanks. This is a great idea. But I'm using cosmetics as an example and don't want to get into this industry. If I find a niche, how do I make sure that the products meet EU standard?
 

RedDog89

New member
I am a cosmetics distributor for some EU countries and some none EU countries. Well you need to register every cosmetic you are planning to inport that is a serious elaborate which costs about couple of thousands euros per product.(includs, CPNC, Safty data sheets, INCI, and much different info about it which you usually can get only by producers, it doesn't matter if somebody had already done it for the same product, this certificates cannot be transferred from one company to another, they are exclusive, basically they will tell you-you didn't do something right a 1000times unless you hire a professional to do it which will cost you like I have said, a couple of thousand euro per product.)
BUT there are ways obviously. But this is a grey area market which is wort of billions. It is called parallel distribution and apparently EU consumers protection organisation did a couple of presidents on court which makes it semi-legal. But certain brands have found their ways to stop it, or at least to control it. If the product is produced for some other market outside of EU, it cannot be sold in the EU, and also the brands use their copyrights infringements against their brands. How exactly, I don't know, Google it. To cut the crap, there is a huge business of removing the labels or the content outside the bottles and importing it separately and then sticking it back. Or simply a cheap counterfeits. The best way to get the goods is to do research on its distributors and sales managers and their contracts, then when you know they do not satisfy targets, or if they increase the sales they will get bonus/discount, ado them to sell you some at their price(withot the margins) than you sell it on line.... Or find guys who are doing that with a huge about of brands and resell them to e commerce sites, which basically sell the stuff from their stock for small percentage. Remember it's a penny business, but the largest companies are worth of billions. But for that seems to me is too late since I dont know almost anything about it in order to pull it of even thou I do know the ppl who runs such a business... But why should they give you any info on that so that you become their competitor... This is about it what you can found out without paying for info or giving a share.
 

JohnTheLittle

New member
Dropshipping into the EU is a very specific situation to operate in.

The final customer is the importer, their name is on shipping label unless you are using a dropshipping forwarding platform. In the strictest legal sense, the importer is responsible for ensuring the items they are importing into the EU are compliant with local regulations. And generally speaking, EU law is not very well equipped to deal with Dropshipping as a business model.

However, for cosmetics, EU law mentions the "distributor" as a company that sells cosmetics under its name or brand ("Le distributeur est la personne responsable lorsqu'il met un produit cosmétique sur le marché sous son nom ou sa marque, ou modifie un produit déjà mis sur le marché de telle manière que sa conformité aux exigences applicables risque d'en être affectée." ), and the distributor can be responsible to a certain extent.
 

RandaFlores

New member
I live in EU and my company is also registered in EU. If I am dropshipping and selling to customers located in EU then how can I make sure that I don't get into trouble? In EU, many products have restrictions and must meet the standard set by EU e.g. cosmetics. For example, it is a store in France dropshipping cosmetics from China. I am not planning to sell cosmetics like this but this is the easiest example to use.

Does an EU company need to charge VAT for goods sold outside of EU?
I'd better ask about several elements connected to the quality of the cosmetics I am going to use. For instance, if is it a natural one or not. Or may be any other variants to apply and to buy outside the EU.
 
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