Import of goods - formal and legal requirements, tax settlements


In recent years, more and more Polish companies decide to import goods from countries outside Europe. These transactions usually involve a lot of additional formalities and require familiarization with the basic legal principles in this regard. Doubts among taxpayers are raised by the correct tax settlement of this type of transaction. That is why we will explain below how to properly complete all formalities and settlements related to the import of goods.

What is the import of goods?

The import of goods is defined in art. 2 point 7 of the Act on tax on goods and services. According to the above-mentioned regulation, import of goods is understood as import of goods from the territory of a third country into the territory of the European Union.

Formal and legal requirements related to the import of goods

The formal and legal requirements related to the import of goods are extremely important, because the lack of one of the required documents may result in blocking the possibility of selling purchased goods within the European Union.

CE marking

The CE marking indicates that the product complies with the EU directive. Having the CE mark allows you to trade the goods in the EEA (European Economic Area) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association). Importantly, the manufacturer himself decides about placing the mark on the product. By posting it, he declares that he has met all the requirements for the use of that marking.



Not every product sold within the EU has to bear the CE marking. This obligation applies only to those products covered by specific directives in the field of CE marking.


CE marking informs consumers that the product meets certain EU standards in the field of:

  • health protection,
  • safety,
  • environmental protection.

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Although the obligation to ensure that products comply with the CE marking requirements lies with the manufacturer, the importer of the goods should also pay special attention to them. It must ensure that a product that meets the requirements of Community directives and is not dangerous to EU consumers is placed on the market. This obligation rests with the importer in a situation where the seller from the third country does not have a representative in the EEA. You should then obtain information from the manufacturer whether he has taken appropriate steps to meet the requirements set by the EU and whether he will be able to present documentation confirming this state of affairs upon request of the relevant services.

In order to protect his interests, the importer should ask the manufacturer for a written guarantee of receiving the relevant documents, which he will be able to present to the national authorities upon their request (EC declaration of conformity, technical documentation of the product).

When importing, it should be remembered that the importer will have an obligation to ensure contact between the Polish authorities and the Polish producer.



The obligation to have the CE marking applies to, among others:

  • active implantable medical devices,
  • devices burning gaseous fuels,
  • cableway equipment intended for the transport of people,
  • building materials,
  • ecodesign for energy-related products,
  • electromagnetic compatibility,
  • equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres,
  • explosives intended for civil use,
  • hot water boilers,
  • medical devices used for in vitro diagnosis,
  • cranes,
  • low voltage electrical equipment,
  • machines,
  • measuring instruments,
  • medical devices,
  • noise emission to the environment,
  • non-automatic scales,
  • personal protective equipment,
  • pressure equipment,
  • pyrotechnic products,
  • radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment,
  • recreational boats,
  • toy safety,
  • simple pressure vessels.


Registration in the EORI system

Taxpayers importing goods are required to register in the EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) system. It is one part of the electronic customs environment created within the EU under the e-Customs program. Its idea is a "paperless" environment for customs administrations and trade in the EU.

The main purpose of the EORI system is to speed up the settlement of customs operations by companies.

According to the information provided on the website of the Ministry of Finance in Poland, entrepreneurs can register in the EORI system in the following way:

  • by submitting or sending by post a registration application (in writing),
  • personally by the applicant or through the applicant's representative (who has his authorization),
  • at customs offices or departments in Poland,
  • before or during the first customs operation.

EORI numbers assigned in our country have the following structure:

  • for domestic entities, they consist of: the letters PL and the NIP number supplemented by five zeros or (for entities with a 14-digit REGON number, the last five characters of the REGON number),
  • for entities from third countries, they consist of: letters PL and a sequential, unique sequence of 14 digits with the character "Z" at the end.



Economic operators register in the EORI system only once. As a consequence, they receive an EORI identification number, which they are obliged to use in all customs transactions and activities within the EU, where their identifier is required.

customs agency

The next step is to choose the right customs agency. This is an extremely important stage, because choosing the right one will affect the speed and professionalism of customs clearance.

The importer gives the agency direct or indirect authorization (representation). They differ in terms of their responsibilities. In the case of direct representation (authorization), the representative acts on behalf of and on behalf of the person he represents. Indirect representation, on the other hand, consists in the fact that the representative acts on behalf of another person, but in his own name.



A common phenomenon is the presence of a customs agency as part of a transport or courier company.


Registration in the PDR system

The Reference Data Subsystem (PDR) is an IT tool aimed at providing up-to-date and uniform reference data for other customs systems.

Registration in the PDR should be performed by every person (both natural and legal) who intends to send electronic documents to customs systems and thus receive feedback.



PDR supports reference data such as:

  • data of entities and their representatives;
  • data of electronic certificates of entities and representatives (for encryption and signing of documents sent to / from the customs administration);
  • data on simplifications, economic licenses, authorizations for the use of comprehensive guarantee, data of certificates issued by authorities other than customs (foreign certificates), data of authorizations in handling customs declarations;
  • data on Polish and foreign customs offices;
  • data on the places where goods are located under the control of customs offices;
  • data on entities confirming the crossing of the border, other than customs offices;
  • "simple dictionaries" - ie "code-value" data lists defining the codes used in customs documents;
  • calendars of customs office hours, public holidays and exceptions during customs office hours;
  • exchange rate tables.


Importantly, this is not the end of the obligations incumbent on importers. Depending on the subject of import, they may be required to make other additional declarations and have supporting documents. For example, when importing food products, it is often necessary to cooperate with the Sanepid and veterinarians. The entrepreneur carrying out this type of transaction is obliged to submit the appropriate authorizations to the Provincial IJHAR (Inspectorate of Commercial Quality of Agricultural and Food Products) and PGIS (State Border Sanitary Inspectorate).

Tax settlement of the import of goods

Import of goods, like any other transaction, is recorded in the taxpayer's books. How to do it correctly and what documents are then necessary? We explain below.

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Import of goods in costs

The basis for entries in the tax book of revenues and expenses in the field of import of goods is, as a rule, an invoice issued by the seller. The expense documenting the purchase of goods for resale should be shown in col. 10 of the book - purchase of commercial goods and basic materials - under the date of issue of the sales document. If the invoice was made in a foreign currency, then it should be converted into zlotys, according to the average exchange rate of the National Bank of Poland on the last working day preceding the issue of the purchase document. Such a position results from Article 11a par. 2 of the Personal Income Tax Act.

Import of goods - VAT settlement

The importer of goods from the customs office should receive the customs document (SAD or PZC). On its basis, it shows the tax in the VAT register - purchase. On the basis of the VAT registers kept, the taxpayer shows the tax on goods and services in the standard items of the VAT-7 or VAT-7K declaration regarding the deduction of input VAT.

Import of goods - customs clearance

The taxpayer, based on the SAD or PZC document, shows the duty charged by the Customs Office. When the duty concerns goods intended for resale, it should be shown in col. 10 of the book on the date of its issue.



The value of the duty increases the cost of purchasing the goods and will therefore be relevant for the valuation of goods for the purposes of the year-end inventory.


Import of goods and exchange rate differences

Imports of goods are usually expressed in a foreign currency, therefore the taxpayer may be obliged to settle exchange rate differences that may constitute income or tax expense for him.

Positive exchange rate differences, being the entrepreneur's income, arise when, in accordance with Art. 24 c of paragraph 1. 2 point 2 of the PIT Act, the incurred cost expressed in a foreign currency after conversion into PLN at the average exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland is higher than the value of this cost on the day of payment, converted according to the actually used exchange rate on that day.

On the other hand, negative exchange rate differences, being a tax deductible cost, arise if the value of the incurred cost expressed in a foreign currency after conversion into zlotys at the average exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland is lower than the value of this cost on the date of payment, converted according to the actually used exchange rate from that currency. on (Article 24c (3) (2) of the PIT Act).



Positive exchange rate differences should be shown in col. 8 KPiR - other revenues. On the other hand, negative exchange rate differences in col. 13 of the KPiR - other expenses. In both cases, the taxpayer can document the exchange rate differences with an internal document, which must be accompanied by a photocopy of the purchase document, bank statement and printouts of the exchange rates used for the conversion.