Exporting to Austria

Austria is situated in the heart of Europe. One of Europe’s wealthiest nations, Austria is a promising market for UK companies, especially for high quality products or services.

Strong and growing economy

This year, Austria was ranked 9th in Europe for its GDP per capita (IMF, 2019). UK exports to Austria in both services and goods continue to rise steadily and have risen by 36.2% between 2013 and 2018 (ONS, 2019).

Gateway to central and eastern Europe

Austria is a landlocked country in central Europe, sharing borders with 8 countries. Its location and excellent distribution, logistic and service links make it an ideal place to access the markets of central and eastern Europe.

Consumer market

If your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance of success in Austria too. It’s a similar market to the UK with similar business risks and requirements.

Ease of doing business

27th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Euro

Business language

German

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$51,343

UK is $41,030 (IMF, 2019)

Economic growth

2.7%

(IMF, 2019)

Time zone

GMT +1

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Austria have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Austria

Preparing to export

Taxation

The UK and Austria have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

UK companies operating in Austria are subject to local taxation. Corporate income tax is 25%. Read more about tax in Austria.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Austria, provided certain conditions are met.

The general VAT rate in Austria is 20% for most manufactured goods and services. A lower rate of 10% is levied on food, agricultural products, property rents, and some other items.

Labelling

Product labels must be in German. There are specific labelling rules for:

  • certain genetically modified foodstuffs
  • alcoholic beverages over 1.2% by volume
  • allergens for foodstuffs and beverages

A mark of origin (‘Made in’) label is essential.

Operating in Austria

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

The Austrian Patent Office (site in German) is responsible for IP in Austria.

Payment terms

Customers in Austria may require credit terms to buy your products and services. Payment conditions must be factored into prices. For business-to-business transactions these can range from payment on receipt of goods (often with a small discount) to a negotiated 60-day payment. Late payment interest can be claimed.

Challenges

Some Austrian companies prefer to buy locally, so UK companies should think about what is unique about their product or service in advance.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.