Lithuania

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Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands


Import regulations and customs duties

Regulations
In accordance with its European Union membership since May, 1st of 2004, Lithuania applies the European Union trade policy such as antidumping or anti-subsidy measures. The European Union import regime applies to Lithuania. If Lithuania has adopted the main part of EU regulations on May, 1st of 2004, a transitory period has been granted to the country regarding some EU rules like freedom of movement for workers or cabotage inside some countries. Moreover, a delay has been granted to Lithuania until 2006, to put the pharmaceutical products marketing authorisations up to standards. For further information about each candidate country’s compliance with the acquis, please consult the Enlargement of the EU - Guide to the Negotiations published by the European Commission.

While the European Union has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, some products need import licenses. There are some restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on the import and export of farm products, aimed at favouring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory.

When being introduced in Lithuania, some products must be "CE" marked in respect to the European Directives adopted on the basis of the New Approach and the Global Approach. For further information, please consult the Guide to the Implementation of Directives based on New Approach and Global Approach.

 


Customs duties
Since its accession to the European Union on May, 1st of 2004, Lithuania has adopted the EU Common External Tariff. Consequently, trade with Lithuania is totally free from customs duties, provided that the country of origin of the goods is one of the other 24 EU Member States. Nevertheless, when introducing goods into Lithuania, exporters shall fill in an intrastat declaration.

When the country of origin of the goods exported to Lithuania is not part of the European Union, customs duties are calculated Ad valorem on the CIF value of the goods, in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff (CCT).

The duties for non-European countries are relatively low, especially for manufactured goods (4.2% on average for the general rate), however textile, clothing items (high duties and quota system) and food-processing industry sectors (average duties of a 17.3% and numerous tariff quotas, PAC) still know protective measures.

In order to get exhaustive regulations and customs tariffs rates regarding their products, exporters shall refer to the TARIC code and its database, which includes all applicable customs duties and all customs trade policy measures for all the goods.

 


Import taxes
>> To get further information on VAT rates, please check the list of VAT rates applied within the European Union

>> More detailed information on excise duties is available concerning alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, energy products on the European Commission website.

 






Distribution

A majority of the products distribution and sale is currently carried out by private distribution networks. Since the independence, a large number of private specialised stores ( do it yourself, ready-to-wear...) was created. Concerning distribution networks, there are generally import companies which possess their own store or obtained exclusivity for foreign brands distribution. These companies hold simultaneously the function of importers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. There are a few big stores such as Univermag, in Lithuania. It is the same for franchised stores.

Supermarkets is nearly inexistent in Lithuania, it is restricted to the food sector, where various shop chains (Economia, IKI, ...) share the market. These companies hold supermarkets with a surface exceeding 1,000 m² and are located in the country's main cities. Most of the products are imported and the prices offered, especially for fruits and vegetables, are not very competitive with the prices of the local market that remain very popular for the local population.


The Business to Consumer (B to C) market
Fairs and expositions sites in Lithuania
- Exposition centre : http://www.expo.lt/
- Conbaltas : http://www.balticconference.com/
- Expo Zona : http://www.expozona.lt/lt.php/
- Expo Vakarai : http://www.expo-vakarai.lt/?en=start
- Litexpo : http://www.litexpo.lt/en
- Visus Plenus : http://www.visusplenus.lt/default.asp?DL=E&TopicID=


 


Transportation of goods

By road
This country's road network can be qualified as a quality network: the maintaining is good and its density is important. The network extends over 61,329 km. In 1996, 12,000 lorries and 4,000 transport companies used the infrastructure. This sector is a priority for the government. The TIR procedure is applicable in this country.


By rail
As opposed to the road network, railway network is relatively outdated and inadapted to international standards. This networks only counts 170 km of lines, with a narrow gauge and 122 km of electrified lines.


By sea
Sea and river transport is very important in Lithuania, as well as the infrastructures of this means of transport. Klaipedia port plays a significant role in this area, in the Baltic countries zone and in Russia.


By air
The air network is composed of 3 airports in use: Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. The capital's network has recently been renovated.




Standards



Patents and brands

Intellectual property
The law concerning patents was adopted in April 1994 in Lithuania. A law on trademarks and service marks entered into force on the 1st of October of 1993. They create a regime which is relatively similar to the regime existing in French Law. Since the 30th of April 1992, Lithuania has become a member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation). The country now wants to integrate the Convention of Paris, for the protection of intellectual property, and the Madrid agreement concerning international trademarks register.

Texts currently applying to patents/brands

  Text Date entered into law Period of validity Comment
Patent Patent Law No. IX-118 December 21, 2000 20 years :
Trademark Law on Trade Marks No. VIII-1981 October 10, 2000 10 years, renewable for further periods not exceeding 10 years :
Design Law on Industrial Design No. VIII-1676 May 11, 2000 5 years, renewable four times, for 5-year periods up to 25 years :



 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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