When ordering goods from China (lets say AliExpress.com Product – Korean version of the spring and summer men socks or from 0,99$ products zone in GearBest) or from other non EU countries you may be seeing a yellow label sticker on your package saying:
“Goods not fulfilling the conditions laid down in Articles 28 and 29 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union”
What is that label all about? Are the goods no good to be used in the European Union? Worry not, this has only to do with the customs and possible charges.
Here are the articles 28 and 29 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union:
FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS
(ex Article 23 TEC)
1. The Union shall comprise a customs union which shall cover all trade in goods and which shall involve the prohibition between Member States of customs duties on imports and exports and of all charges having equivalent effect, and the adoption of a common customs tariff in their relations with third countries.
2. The provisions of Article 30 and of Chapter 3 of this Title shall apply to products originating in Member States and to products coming from third countries which are in free circulation in Member States.
(ex Article 24 TEC)
Products coming from a third country shall be considered to be in free circulation in a Member State if the import formalities have been complied with and any customs duties or charges having equivalent effect which are payable have been levied in that Member State, and if they have not benefited from a total or partial drawback of such duties or charges.
And this is the direct source of the articles 28 and 29: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A12012E%2FTXT
What they state is that any goods imported from other countries than the member states of the EU shall be let into free circulation after the customs charges have been paid for them and it doesn’t matter in which member state the duties would be paid.
If your package contains this sticker it probably also contains a value marked on your package. If your package value is higher than 22 euros you need to pay taxes (VAT), except for perfumes that are taxable without a minimum price. Also if your package value is over 150 euros additional customs duties will apply. Pay attention – when calculating the value, shipping costs also need to be included in the value of the package.
So, if you have a sticker and a package with free shipping with contents less than 22€ of value, you need not to worry about paying any tax. But if over 22 eur, your country will charge you and if over 150 eur you’ll be charged additionally based on the import customs charges table.
Update: adding to the article a valuable guest comment by Disqus user Jeffrey Zhang
In fact, this label usually appears on parcels transiting through a third EU country. For example,the PostNL’s parcels,Usually mainland Chinese sellers will ship the goods to the PostNL agency in Hong Kong,and then the goods will ship to Netherlands, However, the Dutch customs will not process these packages, but send them directly to the destination EU countries.Only PostNL knows that this package is from Hongkong China actually,The customs of other EU countries can only see that this package was shipped from the Netherlands,(For example, I have a parcel like this whose destination is France,When I track this package on the website la poste (French Post ),The tracking information will only appear after the package arrives in the Netherlands, and it will show that the package was sent from the Netherlands) This is why PostNL will put this label on the package to remind other EU customs that although this package is sent from the Netherlands, the Dutch customs does not impose tax on it, the package should not be regarded as goods within the EU