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SDS | April 3, 2018

Any company that wants to sell HAZARDOUS chemicals in the Slovenian market must obtain a licence to trade in chemicals. The licence may be obtained if the company meets the following conditions:

  1. It must be registered in Slovenia (registered to sell chemical products or a similar activity; there are several possible codes according to the Standard Classification of Activities).
  2. It must appoint an appropriately licensed chemicals consultant.

Important: the Slovenian Chemicals Act regulates only the field of hazardous chemicals. If a chemical is not considered hazardous, the above conditions do not apply – the Chemicals Act does not apply in such cases. However, this does not mean that another regulation does not apply to your specific chemicals. Special attention should be paid to biocides, phytopharmaceuticals (plant protection products), oils and lubricants, paints and coatings, detergents and other specific products.

How can you sell chemicals if your company is not registered in Slovenia?

If you want to sell HAZARDOUS chemicals in the Slovenian market, but do not meet the first condition (company registration), you have several options:

  1. Direct sales to individual buyers.
  2. Agreement with a Slovenian distributer.
  3. Establish a new company or an affiliate in Slovenia.
  4. Appoint an (administrative) representative under the Chemicals Act.

We present each option below, with their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Direct sales to individual buyers

General
Slovenian buyers buy your products directly from you.

This option is reasonable and recommendable in cases when you have only a few permanent (known) buyers in Slovenia who buy only a few of your products.

Manufacturers or suppliers of industrial products who supply to industrial buyers that are also final users of such products often use this option.

Advantages
Slovenian regulations do not concern you in any way – each (Slovenian) buyer must fulfil the requirements stipulated by local regulations (see weaknesses below).

Weaknesses
Every buyer must fulfil the requirements stipulated by local regulations (e.g. on chemicals) – this can be quite a burden for the buyer.

Example: If the trade involves a hazardous chemical or biocide, the buyer must provide for all documentation and the registration of hazardous chemicals or the registration of biocides, and pays all related costs. Since this is quite an additional burden for buyers, they often opt for a supplier who has already arranged these matters. In other words: buyers make purchases where it is most easy for them. Suppliers with better support or service are frequently prioritised (those who are more buyer-friendly).

Limitation: This option is reasonable and recommendable in cases when you have only a few permanent (known) buyers in Slovenia who buy only a few of your products.

 

  1. Agreement with a Slovenian distributer

General
Find a suitable company in Slovenia to market your chemicals as a distributor.

The role of a distributor is therefore taken by a company that is already registered in accordance with Slovenian regulations and which already operates in the Slovenian market.

Advantages
You only have one buyer in Slovenia, i.e. the distributor who markets your chemicals in the Slovenian market. If the distributor is a known company that has been operating in Slovenia for some time, then you also acquire a certain market (distributor's buyers).

The distributor must fulfil the conditions stipulated by Slovenian regulations (regulations on chemicals, on taxes etc.). You do not have to worry about anything; however, it is recommendable that you warn the distributor of certain specifics about your products and regulations, otherwise you can risk this relationship becoming a weakness.

Weaknesses
Agreements or negotiations with the distributor on the conditions can be quite time consuming.

The entire Slovenian market depends on one company and their engagement.

You DO NOT emerge in the market under your name, but the distributor emerges under theirs (the distributor is mentioned on the packaging and safety sheets as the responsible person).

 

  1. Establish a new company or an affiliate in Slovenia

General
You open a new company or an affiliate in Slovenia which normally operates as a Slovenian company.

Advantages
Independence – you are in full control.

The parent company completely controls all the activities of the new company or the affiliate – you leave nothing to chance.

No intermediates come between you and your buyers.

Weaknesses
Costs of establishing and operations of the company/affiliate.

Hiring human resources, premises, studying and fulfilling regulations (finances, work regulations, fire safety, chemical regulations, taxes etc.) and similar.

Finding and acquiring customers (costs of opening a new market).

 

  1. "Administrative" representative (hereinafter referred to as the representative)

General
Instead of opening a new company or an affiliate or searching for a distributor, you can choose a representative to represent you in administrative procedures at chemicals authorities (Chemical Office of the Republic of Slovenia).

This representative operates in your name and on your behalf (direct representation).

This means in practice that you (company in the EU) authorise a representative to arrange everything with regard to the Chemicals Act in your name, so that you can sell chemicals easily in Slovenia.

The representative therefore operates and supports you only in administrative procedures and in accordance with the Chemicals Act.

Only companies from the EU may appoint a representative in Slovenia. Companies from non-EU countries cannot appoint a representative in Slovenia, but only opt for the first three options (points 1 to 3).

Advantages
You obtain the licence to trade in chemicals in Slovenia in your own name (and your company). Example: "Company Ltd, London, UK" is granted the licence under the name "Company Ltd, London, UK".

All commercial activities are performed directly with the buyers: you deliver the goods directly to the buyer, and invoices and payments are made directly.

A representative does not play any role in commercial matters (marketing, seeking new customers etc.). Their only concern is administration: obtaining the licence to trade or store chemicals, registering hazardous chemicals and biocides, representation at inspections, translations of safety sheets and labels.

You emerge in the market in your name (and with your name) – the packaging and documents bear your company name.

No intermediaries come between you and your buyers.

Fast and inexpensive. No costs of establishing a company or operating costs.

Weaknesses
A representative only operates on the basis of the Chemicals Act and in matters based on this act.

A representative cannot represent you in administrative procedures on the basis of other acts/regulations.

Example: A representative cannot represent you at financial national bodies (customs) in registering, calculating or paying environmental fees. They cannot register or pay environmental fees in your name for paints and coatings that contain VOC (volatile organic compounds), for oils and lubricants, packaging etc. These activities must be implemented by buyers themselves. 

Our recommendation

The optimal approach always depends on your interests, plans and activities. In our experience, appointing a representative is the simplest and quickest option. You can start selling your products directly and worry free in the Slovenian market within only 10 days. In terms of costs, this option is the least risky.

If you would like our advice on a specific case, please call +386 1 562 19 20 or write to info@bens-consulting.com.

 

Disclaimer:
Information on this blog is prepared with utmost care, but it is not about (chemical) consulting, and the provider does not assume any responsibility or liability for the correctness, accuracy and up-to-dateness of published content. If you need advice for a specific case, you can write to us at bojan.dimic@bens-consulting.com

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