Europe can be split into two distinct halves when importing and exporting IT and Medical equipment. While the west, made up of the EU and Scandinavian countries, has solid economies and minimal restrictions on goods, the same is not true of the east. Although many may not be considered the third world, several Eastern European countries have struggling economies, still feeling the effects of WW2 and communist rule. These countries tend to be significantly more challenging than their western counterparts.

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The west

The west is, however, not without its challenges. Several countries in the west of Europe have complex compliance requirements, particularly for encrypted and high-value IT hardware. Furthermore, changes in the definition of exporter within the EU and the implementation of Brexit have had profound consequences for many Western European countries.

The east

Since emerging from behind the Iron Curtain, Eastern Europe has made significant advances in foreign trade. Some countries in Eastern Europe have also been highlighted as excellent opportunities for SMEs to expand into Europe. These markets are growing at a rapid rate. In some cases, exports from Western countries into the region have tripled in the space of a year. It is important to note that these countries tend to be compliance-heavy.

As with any developing region, there is also a higher risk for crime, so comprehensive liability cover is crucial. Finally, while English may not be an official language throughout most of Europe, many western populations are competent in English. The same cannot be said of Eastern Europe. This poses a significant challenge for English and indeed speakers of other prominent European languages such as German, Italian, French, and Dutch, none of which feature significantly in the east.

Do you have a specific European destination in mind? Learn more about the complexities of importing into European countries like The United Kingdom.