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Import/Export

United States to Greece

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Greece. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Products Of Animal Origin are goods which contain at least partly material derived from the body of an animal. These products can be divided in food or non-food.

Food means any substance, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption, but does not include cosmetics or substances used only as pharmaceuticals.

Non-Food (not intended for human consumption) includes animal by-products, animal feed, samples for testing or research purposes (food-grade or non-food grade), and in vitro diagnostics (IVD).

Animal products and animal by-products are often subject to a veterinary inspection. These products can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC). In addition those products must undergo veterinary checks at an approved Veterinary Border Inspection Post (BIP) when entering the EU & EFTA countries or territories (EU regulations are aligned for EU countries or territories and NO; IS; CH; LI).

For UPS shipments arriving in the EU by air, Cologne is the first point of arrival /BIP. Inspections will be processed at Cologne but final customs clearance process will be issued in the destination country or territory.

Additional charges for Vet-inspection will be applicable  see Brokerage Services and Charges.

Import requirements:

Generally, each type of Product of Animal Origin has specific import requirements that must be met. Food which is subject to veterinary inspections must:

Come from an EU listed Third Country or Territory (no safeguard measures in place)

Come from an EU approved establishment . Registered producers are listed under the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/food/international/trade/third_en.htm

Be accompanied by appropriate Health Certificate(s), signed by a veterinarian of the competent authority of country or territory of export. Photocopies of the Health Certificate will not be accepted.

Be appropriately packaged and labelled, indicating the nature, ingredients, quantity/ weight, the country or territory of origin and manufacturer.

Any foodstuff coming from non-approved establishments, sent as samples for testing purposes, can only be imported with a permit/license from a respective national veterinary authority. The permit/license must be send to the border inspection point responsible for the veterinary inspection. Delays may occur as the license needs to be provided already at the time of inspection.

Any non-compliant shipment must be returned at shippers expense immediately. The following exemptions apply to non-commercial shipments / gift shipments or purchased by private individuals for private consumption):

Meat, meat products, animal fat - max. 10 kg from Faroe Island and Greenland.

Fish and fish products (with intestines and organs removed) - max. 20 kg from all third countries or territories; no limitation from Faroe Islands.

Other animal products (for example, honey, egg, frog, live mussels - max. 10 kg from Faroe Islands and Greenland, and max. 2 kg from all other third countries or territories).

Antiques can be cleared with a duty rate of 0% if the requirements are fulfilled. The importer needs a license from the National Museum of Art to import antiques.
Original artwork (for example, paintings, drawings, sculptures) can be imported with a duty rate of 0%. The importer must prove that the artwork is an original one. For instance, the number of copies from a print must be a low number to be accepted as artwork. If proofs are missing or not accepted, the importer needs a license from the National Museum of Art to import antiques.
The consignee must provide an Import License from the National Drug Organization (NDO).
Cheese, milk, and milk products are considered Animal Products. For additional information please see 'Animal Products' and 'Food'.
All medicines require approval from the Greek Organization of Drug and Medicine (EOF) which must be arranged by the consignee.
All electrical appliances, subject to EU product safety requirements, must have the Declaration of Conformity (CE) mark.

Customs prohibits electrical appliances without a CE mark attached. For additional information please see 'Declaration of Conformity' in section 'Additional Import Documentation'.

Fish and fish products are considered Animal Products. For additional information please see 'Animal Products' and 'Food'.
All food items are subject to several legal requirements depending if they are made of animal products, classified as plants or if they are perishable. Especially food made of animal products or containing animal products above certain thresholds have to fulfil the requirements for the importation of animal products. Fresh fruit and other unprocessed plants must fulfil the phytosanitary requirements.

Additional requirements may apply regarding labelling, licensing, etc. Food can only be sent if covered by a contract for 'International Special Commodities'.

Based on the EU regulation 2009/669/EC certain foodstuffs(for example tea with origin China) imported from certain third countries or territories are subject to increased level of official controls due to contamination risks of these products by aflatoxinson and pathogens. These controls are carried out at Designated Point of Entries (DPE) defined by each member state.

The import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station and not subject to vet inspection can only be imported into the EU through Designated Point of Entries (DPE). They must be accompanied by a declaration attesting that the goods are either harvested or processed before March, 11 2011, originated from a prefecture other than the ones affected by higher levels of radiation or if originated from an affected prefecture have been subjected to laboratory analysis determining the level of certain radionuclides (regulation 2011/297/EC).

The customs offices responsible for our import sites are not all defined as DPE. Commodities subject to import controls at a DPE can only be imported via UPS import ports where the responsible customs office is defined as DPE.

The import of food supplements requires a license from the National Drug Organization (NDO).
The European Union (EU) has placed an import ban on Honey from certain countries or territories.

Before shipping Honey to a European Union country or territory, it is highly recommended to contact your local chamber of commerce or your importer for detailed information.

If the importation is allowed by the European Union, the shipment must be accompanied by an original health certificate provided by the shipper/producer, otherwise, importation will not be possible. Furthermore, a vet inspection at the first point of arrival into the EU is required, even for sample shipments.

Brokerage accessorial charges will apply and an import delay may occur.

If the shipper fails to verify the import regulation of the destination country or territory and sends honey which is prohibited by the European Union, then all charges that may apply for the respective shipment will be billed back to the shipper.

For additional information please see 'Animal Products' and 'Food'.

Leather products are checked occasionally by the customs chemical office for chemical remains used during the production process.

Leather products from animals covered by the CITES convention must be accompanied by a CITES certificate. The name of the species should be stated on the invoice.

Meats are considered Animal Products. For additional information please see 'Animal Products' and 'Food'.
The consignee must provide proof of E.U. approval for all medical equipment, including instruments, prosthetics, lenses, active implantables, in vitro diagnostics and other items. For detailed information please see 'Certificate of Conformity' in section 'Additional Import Documentation'.
The consignee must arrange approval from the Greek Organization of Drug and Medicine (EOF) for all medicines.
Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.

The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.

Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.

All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:

An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.

Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.

Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.

The consignee must arrange approval from the Greek Organization of Drug and Medicine (EOF) for all medicines.
Only small amounts of samples are accepted for importation without duty. If the number of samples exceeds three items in one shipment, duty applies for all items. VAT applied for all samples.
In order to avoid wrong customs declarations at import, it is mandatory that the exporter provide very detailed information about the shoes (for example, what kind of leather, what material used for soles and uppers, what kind of shoes (sport shoes, sandals, boots), who is to wear the shoes (children, women, men).
Most of modern test reagents for diagnostic research are built on antibodies which are generated from animal tissue. There are two types of antibodies, the monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies.

Monoclonal antibodies are generated in vitro. Tissue from animals are taken (e.g. blood) and infected with certain substances or pathogens. The blood cells react with the production of antibodies which are than harvested and used for the production of the test kits. Due to the in vitro production and the controlled way of production those types of test kits are not subject to veterinarian control if it is a commercial production.

Polyclonal antibodies are gained from living animals like rabbits. They are infected with the substances / pathogens and the animals are producing antibodies. The antibodies are harvested from the blood stream of the animals. Test reagents with polyclonal antibodies are subject to vet inspections.

Shipment documents (commercial invoice or declaration on letterhead) should include:

 the place of origin of the material

 the quantity of the material, in weight or volume

 a description of the material/ animal source

 catalogue number and price (if available)

 additives (e.g., sodium azide, glycerol), their source (e.g., whole serum, supernatant, ascites), and purification, if any.

 protocols  the recommended protocol or datasheet indicating any unique fixation, detergent, blocking, or incubation conditions.

 the intended use (commercial/ manufacturing; research/ testing)

 the name and address of the shipper

 the name and address of the receiver

Commercially packaged, ready-to-use In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) containing products of animal of origin, do not require a Vet-inspection, if compliant with Directive 98/79/EC on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. A declaration of conformity (CE-marking) must be provided for each individual commodity (e.g. reagents, test kits, immunosorbent assays such as ELISA kits).

A certificate of origin is not required for the import clearance of textiles. The need of a certificate of origin for the import clearance was reversed on October 24, 2011.

The country or territory of origin must be stated on the invoice for each invoice line. If the customs authorities doubt the correctness of the declared country or territory of origin they may request an additional proof which might be a certificate of origin.

Depending on the texture, the textiles may need approval from the Ministry of Economy.

Azodyes are only allowed to certain detectable concentrations in finished textiles which may come in direct contact with the human skin. On customs request the so called AZO certificate must be provided where an authorised entity state that the goods fulfill the legal requirements.

All tobacco shipments (commercial or private), including those from countries or territories within the E.U., incur duty, VAT and excise duty taxes and are subject to Customs inspection.

For personal use in gift shipments, Customs allows a maximum of 5 cigars, 50 cigarettes, or 50.0 grams (1.8 oz.) of tobacco and always inspects the shipment. Write the product, the cost, and the use on the invoice.

For commercial shipments, the importer must have authorization from the government of Greece, and a bonded warehouse for storing tobacco products.

The importer must arrange for a broker to clear the shipment. Customs requires extra documentation and involves other Customs authorities outside of the Athens Airport.

UPS can deliver the shipment once it clears customs.

Toys must have the CE mark and a license from an E.U.-approved laboratory stating that the product is manufactured under E.U. regulations for health and safety.

For detailed information please see 'Certificate of Conformity' in section 'Additional Import Documentation'.

Data shipments require an invoice with the character of the USB stick (storing intercompany data) and the value of the USB Stick.
Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted ISC contract service. For general service restrictions please see info under alcoholic beverages.

Wine and wine products are subject to excise duty. The excise duty is calculated based on the alcoholic strength by volume. The information must be shown on the invoice. Only registered importers can import commercial wine shipments. Private importers can import wine up to three bottles for their personal consumption. Higher amount of wine can be seen as commercial imports which can only be imported by registered companies.

The import of wine and wine products is also regulated by a market organization of the European Union with rules on labelling and presentation of wine and additional documentation. The Importation of wine and wine products are subject to the presentation of an:

Certificate showing drawn up by a competent body, included on a list to be made public by the Commission, in the products country or territory of origin.

An analysis report drawn up by a body or department designated by the products country or territory of origin, in so far as the product is intended for direct human consumption.

No certificate or analysis report need be presented for products originating in and exported from third countries or territories in labelled containers of not more than five litres fitted with a non-reusable closing device where the total quantity transported, whether or not made up of separate consignments, does not exceed 100 litres. Wine shipments requiring or accompanied by certificates or analysis reports cant be cleared by UPS.

The labels of wine and wine products have to show some of the following compulsory particulars like the category of the product (e.g. wine, sparkling wine, liquor wine), the protected designation or protected geographical indication if the wine has such a protection, the actual alcohol strength by volume, an indication of provenance, an indication of the bottler or an indication of the producer or vendor in case of sparkling wine and other product categories of sparkling wine.

The rules are laid down in EU regulation 2009/491. The regulation can be checked on the EU website http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html

Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to Greece.

Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted ISC contract service.

Commercial importers must be registered to import alcholic beverages. Import clearance of commercial alcohol shipments can be done at two authorised customs offices. The alcohol shipments must be sent under bond to these customs offices and cleared by the brokers of the registered importers.

Private importers can import limited quantities of alcohol for their personal consumption without a license. The limits are three bottles of alcoholic beverages. The clearance will be done on behalf of the private importer. Duty, VAT and excise duty applies.

Alcoholic beverages are subject to excise duty. Excise duty applies on the amount of beverage and the percentage of alcohol. The information must be shown on the invoice.

Alcoholic beverages cant be sold and delivered to underaged persons (18 years). The consignor is responsible to verify the age of the consignee prior to shipping.

Additional rules apply on the import of wine and wine products. Please check under wine.

Endangered plants and animals protected by the multilateral treaty of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), must be accompanied by a valid CITES Certificate.

All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.

Shipper needs to provide the following documentation:

Invoice with the scientific name and CITES certificate.

Additional charges will be applicable. Products of animals or plants subject to CITES can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC).

Electronic Cigarettes can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

The Commodity is considered a pharmaceutical product,and requires an Import Licence.

Kitchen and table knives are acceptable. Other types of knives need permission from the Department of Justice.
According to the customs legislation living plants, parts of plants, fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds are considered to be plants. The shipper must provide an original Phytosanitary Certificate for shipments of living plants, parts of plants, seeds, and dried leaves. The importer must provide a special license from the Greek Agricultural Ministry. Customs requires phytosanitary inspection in Greece.

Expect clearance delays of approximately 5 to 6 days.

Accessorial charges of 10.50 EUR apply.

The European Union (EU) has implemented specific conditions and detailed procedures for the import of plastic kitchenware (HS-Code 3924 1000 11) made of polyamide and melamine and originated in or consigned from China or Hong Kong (regulation 284/2011). Tableware (for example plates, flatware, cups) are excluded from the restrictions. The reason for the new regulation were notifications and alerts by the European 'Rapid Alert System'-kitchen tableware was recognized which exceed the thresholds of aromatic amines and formaldehyde released into food.

Based on the regulation, controls must be performed at the point of introduction into the EU by the competent authorities. They include documentary checks on all consignments and identity or physical checks (including laboratory checks) on 10% of the consignments. All consignments of kitchen tableware (HS code 3924 1000) originated or consigned from China or Hong Kong must be accompanied by a declaration confirming that it meets the requirements concerning the release of primary aromatic amines and formaldehyde. The declaration shall be accompanied by a laboratory report that the consignments fulfill the requirements.

The goods and declaration must be examined at the first point of introduction into the EU.

The consignments shall be notified at the first point of introduction at least two working days in advance.

Our main points of entry (Cologne, Germany and East Midlands, United Kingdom) are not competent to perform the checks and forwarding under bond is prohibited without the checks. Products covered by the new regulation and destined to the EU can not be accepted by UPS. Exporters should clearly state on the invoice the material and the country or territory of origin of plastic kitchenware to avoid holds on commodities not subject to the regulation.

Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
See Plants.
Telephone Equipment is subject to product safety requirements. For additional information please see 'Declaration of Conformity' in section 'Additional Import Documentation'.

Customs inspects most goods to check for CE signs indicating that the product safety requirements are fulfilled.


NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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