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Company Formation Italy



Imports and exports in and from Italy

Updated on Friday 31st January 2020

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imports_and_exports_in_italy.jpgAs the country faces challenges in geographic terms, as it has mountainous terrains that make agriculture difficult, automobiles and machinery industry dominate the Italian trade. Due to the same reason, the Italian trade depends on the manufacturing sector. 
Italy, also known as The Boot, is bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia and it occupies the ninth position in the top of the largest exporters in Europe. It has become famous around the world with its unique brands, such as Armani, Valentino, Versace, Benetton, Prada, FIAT, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Lamborghini. With these products, Italy has managed to create a niche in the global marketplace, especially where there is a high demand for premium products and superior goods.

Imports in Italy

Among the top imports in Italy are minerals, nonferrous minerals, transport and energy products, chemicals, but also textiles, clothing and food and beverages. The reason for which Italy imports products from the energy sector, such as oil, is that it has very few oil deposits. Because it also has a strong lack of minerals and metals, it is mandatory for the country to import them in order to manufacture goods.
The advantages of Italy are highly skilled workforce and great amounts of capital in regards to their manufactured foods, but the disadvantage is that it has lack of natural resources for energy and minerals, therefore it has a strong need of importing a majority of these products.

Products imported by Italy and top countries Italy imports from

Italy imports fuels that represent 17 percent of the total imports, motor vehicles, representing around 10 percent, raw minerals, also 10 percent, chemicals with a 9 percent import rate, food, with a 7 percent rate and electronic devices, with an 8 percent rate. 
In terms of countries, Italy imports from Germany, France, China, Netherlands, and Spain. 

Import procedures and documents in Italy

Italian companies interested in importing goods into Italy must consider the following:

  • -          all the products imported by companies must adhere to the local and EU regulations;
  • -          special licenses must be obtained when importing certain categories of products, such as food;
  • -          the products must be accompanied by specific documents which attest their origins;
  • -          the products must also be labeled in accordance with the local and EU legislation.

With respect to the documents which must accompany imported products, we mention the following:

  • -          the invoice and the documents indicating the provenience of the products;
  • -          the Single Administrative Document which must be provided for products coming from other EU countries;
  • -          a summary declaration which must be presented with the Italian Customs authority;
  • -          other documents and licenses issued for the import of special categories of products.

Our company registration representatives in Italy can advise on these requirements.


Exports in Italy

Before the economic crisis, Italy experienced a decrease in the total global trade volumes, but that did not affect the economy that maintained a strong position, being ranked eighth in the world for export volumes.
Exports in Italy have increased in March 2014 in comparison to February 2015, and the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) reports the actual numbers.

Main exports from Italy

The main exports of Italy are precision machinery that represents 18 percent of total exports, metals and metal products, worth 13 percent, but also clothing and footwear, motor vehicles, including luxury vehicles, motorcycles and scooters. Italy also imports pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, and food. Around 56 percent of Italy’s products are exported to other European Union countries, but the most important ones are Germany, France, United States, Switzerland, and Spain.

Export procedures in Italy

When it comes to export procedures, these are similar to import ones. In order to export goods, Italian companies are required to obtain export licenses for the products they intend to take abroad. They are required to submit a declaration with information about the goods to be exported, which must contain:

  • -          the type of products and the amount to be exported;
  • -          the price and the quantity of the goods;
  • -          the country the goods will be sent to;
  • -          information about where the products will be stored;
  • -          information about the company exporting the products.

The import and export of goods in and from Italy can be done by road, by railroad, by sea or by air.

Opening a trading business in Italy

Those who want to operate in the import-export sector in Italy can open trading companies. The registration of a trading company will imply the same steps as for any other business and requires:

  1.           choosing the appropriate business form which is usually represented by the limited liability company;
  2.           registering the company with the Trade Registry in Italy, as required by the Company Law;
  3.           registering the company with the tax authorities and obtaining a VAT number in Italy;
  4.           registering the company with the Customs and applying for an EORI number for foreign trade purposes.

Our Italian company formation advisors can guide foreign entrepreneurs who want to open trading companies in this country.

If you want to start a business in Italy and you are interested in the trading activitiescontact our company formation agents in Italy to benefit from advice. 

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Call us now at +39 023 663 8610 to set up an appointment with Francesco Dagnino, one of our lawyers in Rome and Milan, Italy. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Italy.

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