Lithuania is member of the European Union since 2004 and has close ties with nearby Baltic and Eastern European countries. It is well integrated in the international trade system and is party to a number of agreements.
Non Tariff Barriers
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 sabotage inside some countries. 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 ompensations on the import and export of farm products, aimed at favoring 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 (mainly those having a link with safety) must be "CE" marked in respect to the European Directives adopted on the basis of the New Approach and the Global Approach.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Since 2000, the "Most favored nation treatment customs duty act" came into force. According to this Act, goods originating from third (non-EU) countries are subject to customs duties. For more information about rates, please consult the Estonian Master Tariff system at: vaarikaas.
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.
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 27 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).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 27 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).
As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.
Goods transiting Lithuania are not subject to duties. It is possible to obtain a temporary duty exemption for items such as commercial samples and for goods intended for public displays at exhibitions or trade fairs.
The market for consumer products in Lithuania is fragmented. Consumer preferences differ according to income, age and social groups. More affluent consumers consider brand name and quality to be important selling points, with price an indicator of quality. In general, the Lithuanian consumer considers foreign goods to be synonym of high quality. It should be noted as well that the Lithuanian consumer is used to buying products in retail stores.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
The Lithuanian consumer is still sensitive to price because the purchasing power is not as high as it can be in other European Union countries. However, it should be noted that the Lithuanian consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and brand-conscious consumers. The liberalization of markets made the consumers eager to find diverse products and foreign products which are often associated with high quality in their minds. The Lithuanian consumer is not yet used to purchasing on the internet (less than 5% of the all purchases are made via internet).
Retail trade is traditionally the first distribution channel in Lithuania; historically people used to shop in small retail outlets and open air markets. With the independence and European Union membership, foreign companies seek to install in Lithuania and develop bigger shopping centers and brand names.
Lithuania has the best roads of the region. Transport of goods by road is efficient and can be done in all directions. The EU recognized Lithuania as a prime transport center in the region and the EU's transportation Commission designated the two routes running through Lithuania, the North-South highway and the rail route connecting Scandinavia with Central Europe as well as the East-West route linking the huge Eastern markets with the rest of Europe as being the ten most important in Europe.
Competitive sectors of the industry include: IT (the market is growing faster than the European average and is quite attractive ; it received 15% of all the FDI in the country), Biotech, lasers (important know-how and production), machinery and electrical equipment, metal processing and transport, plastics, furniture, wood processing and paper industry, textile and apparel. All those industries are among the most attractive of the country and foreign investment is developed in those areas.
Baltinfo - Find businesses in Lithuania. Business Lithuania - Directory and guide to Lithuanian business information. Business-lithuania - Business-lithuania.com, website presenting Lithuanian business information to all over the world. Find information on thousands of Lithuanian importers, exporters, producers and service providers in English, German and Russian languages. Franchising in the Baltics - Directory of franchising companies in the Baltics. Imones - Lithuania's business directory. Info LT - Directory of businesses in Lithuania. Lithuanian Export-Import Directory - Search for Lithuanian companies in a business database. Visa Lietuva - Lithuania's business directory. Yellow Pages - Find a business in Lithuania.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
17 professional associations listed for Lithuania.