Exporting to Slovenia – everything you need to know

Positioned in the middle of the European mainland and flanked by Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, and the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia is the ideal gateway to doing business in south eastern European markets. Not one of Europe’s biggest markets, it is developing economically, and has about 20 British businesses operating from there, including Astrazeneca, Castrol, Shell and Unilever.

If you want to tap into this emerging market, and take advantage of its central location, here’s all you need to know about exporting to Slovenia.

Where is Slovenia?

Bordered by Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, and the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia ideally situated for doing business in central and southeastern Europe.

Ljubljana is the capital city, and it sits 971 miles from London, with regular flights available.

The national language is Slovenian, but Hungarian and Italian is spoken in some parts of the country. The currency is the euro, the dialling code is +386, and the top level domain for websites is .si.

The pros and cons of exporting to Slovenia

The UK is Solvenia’s 11th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade worth around £500 million.

Top exports from the UK to Slovenia include:

  • Medical and pharmaceutical products
  • Electrical machinery and apparatus
  • General industrial machinery
  • Road vehicles
  • Chemical materials and products

There are a number of benefits to UK businesses looking to do business in Slovenia, including:

  • British quality products and services well received
  • English widely spoken
  • no tariff barriers
  • close to the UK
  • similar business and legal practices to the UK
  • similar technical standards to the UK

And the strengths of that market include:

  • high purchasing power
  • gateway to south eastern Europe
  • highly skilled labour force
  • access to EU funding

Although Slovenia is a member of the EU and has the same practices and business standards as other EU nations, you should be aware that price can be a major issue and so your products and services will have to be competitively priced with neighbouring countries like Austria and Italy.

How does tax work in Slovenia?

The main tax rates in the Slovenia are:

  • VAT – charged at 22%, with a reduced rate of 9.5% on some goods.
  • Corporation tax – charged at 17%, with 100% relief available for research and development (R&D) investment, with 40% relief investment in equipment and other long-term assets.
  • Income tax – charged at a rate of rates of 16%, 27%, 41% and 50%, depending upon earnings.

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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