Exporting to Slovakia – everything you need to know

Situated right in the middle of mainland Europe, Slovakia has enormous growth potential and can offer a great Central and European base for any business.

There are more than 100 UK owned companies operating in Slovakia, including include BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Provident Financial, Shell, and Tate and Lyle. And Tesco not only Slovakia’s top retailer, it is one of the country’s main employers.

If you want to join this growing list, here’s everything you need to know about exporting to Slovakia.

Where is Slovakia?

A mountainous country in central Europe, Slovakia is completely landlocked and is bordered by Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.

Bratislava is the capital city, and it sits 970 miles from London, with regular daily flights available.

The national language is Slovak, which shares many similarities with Czech, and the nations can largely understand each other’s native tongue. The currency is the euro, the dialling code is +421, and the top level domain for websites is .sk.

The pros and cons of exporting to Slovakia

UK good exports to Slovakia are worth around £450 million a year, while bilateral trade is around the £2.3 billion mark, and the UK’s top exports include:

  • Petroleum oils and gases.
  • Vehicles and car parts.
  • Chemical materials and products.
  • Materials for medical treatments.
  • Amusement arcade and funfair machinery.

The strengths of the Slovakian market include:

  • Stable economic and political environment.
  • Strategic geographical position.
  • Excellent telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Highly skilled and flexible labour force.
  • High labour productivity with favourable labour costs.

And the benefits to UK companies doing business out there are:

  • English accepted as a business language.
  • Gateway to emerging markets of eastern Europe.
  • One of a few CEE countries to use the euro.
  • Direct international air services.
  • English widely spoken.

As Slovakia is a member of the EU, European business practices and standards generally apply and there are no major cultural differences to consider. The only real hurdles to doing business in Slovakia are:

  • Bureaucracy.
  • Corruption.
  • Non-transparent public tenders.

If you’re doing business in Slovakia, a reliable international conference calling provider will be necessary, here’s how to set up a conference call between the UK and Slovakia.

How does tax work in Slovakia?

The main tax rates in the Slovakia are:

  • VAT – charged at 20%, but a reduced rate of 10% applies to certain pharmaceuticals, healthcare products and books.
  • Corporation tax – charged at 22%.
  • Income tax – charged at a rate of 19% on incomes of €35,002 or less, a higher rate of 25% is charged on incomes above this.

How will I be affected by customs in Slovakia?

The internal EU single market allows for the free movement of goods and services without any import duties being applied, and testing is mandatory for some imported goods, especially technical and electrical equipment.

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