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Viktor Otterskog, Comfy Tech Limited, United Kingdom
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What kind of products can I get manufactured in Europe?
We cannot comment on manufacturing in Europe as a whole. However, most of our customers manufacturing products in Europe do so within these product categories:
Apparel and textiles
Food and beverage
What are the advantages of manufacturing products in Europe?
Many companies in the EU have started looking for suppliers within the European Union, or at least in its vicinity, as a reaction to increased freight costs and delays when importing products from Asia.
In short, some products can be cheaper to buy in the EU compared to Asia right now, which was not the case until very recently.
Further, buying from European suppliers also has a number of other benefits:
Perceived brand value
Faster delivery (but not necessarily a shorter total lead time)
Same time zone (for European buyers)
What are some disadvantages of manufacturing products in Europe?
Certain products are not manufactured or assembled in Europe due to labor costs. For example, there is no alternative to China in Europe when it comes to electronics. As such, Europe is not an option for certain product categories.
Other disadvantages include the following:
Higher MOQ requirements
Lower supplier response rate
Longer production times
Do I need to pay import duties if I buy products from European suppliers?
There are no import duties within the EU. Hence, a company in the Netherlands buying products from a supplier in Estonia or Portugal is therefore not paying import duties.
Note that this only applies to EU member states – import duties may still apply to imports from European countries that are not in the EU.
Do we need to pay VAT on imports from European suppliers?
Yes, EU companies must pay VAT when buying products from other EU suppliers. The rate depends on the country in which your company is based. VAT is also paid on imports from non-EU countries in Europe.
Is it more expensive to manufacture products in Europe?
European suppliers are generally more expensive compared to their counterparts in China, Vietnam, or India. That said, the freight cost increase has changed the situation to the point that European suppliers are more competitive than their Asian counterparts.
What is the MOQ when sourcing suppliers in Europe?
This depends on the product type. That said, the MOQ requirements can be somewhat higher in Europe compared to suppliers in China.
Which are the main manufacturing countries in Europe?
This depends entirely on the product type and category. Germany would arguably be number one by far if we looked at this purely from an export volume perspective. That said, our focus is on small to medium-sized brands, and these businesses mostly work with manufacturers in these countries:
How do you source suppliers in Europe?
We use a range of supplier databases, which depend on the product type and category. That said, we often just put in the hours using Google. We don’t have access to any secret supplier networks – but we have years of experience sourcing suppliers and know what to look for.
What is the purpose of the report?
The purpose of the report is to give you an overview of relevant suppliers. It’s a first step towards finding new or alternative suppliers in a certain country or region.
How many products and/or product categories can be covered by one report?
We only source suppliers based on one product and material. For example, if we source cotton children’s apparel manufacturers we’ll only focus on suppliers producing children’s apparel made of cotton.
That said, there are situations in which we can take secondary products into consideration – but only for as long as these products are manufactured by the suppliers in the relevant industry. For example, it’s not possible to find children’s apparel manufacturers that also make power banks and watches.
Which criteria do you use to select suppliers?
We select suppliers based on the following criteria:
Product and material scope (e.g. Organic cotton babywear)
Compliance documents (e.g. REACH test reports)
ISO 9001 certification
ISO 14001 certification
BSCI, SA 8000 and Sedex audit reports
The selection is entirely based on the suppliers claims, such as website statements.
Do you verify the suppliers claims about capabilities and certification?
No, the selection is based on the suppliers claims and statements. Here are some examples:
Product and material scop: As presented on their company website
Compliance documents: Uploaded
ISO 9001 certification
ISO 14001 certification
BSCI, SA 8000 and Sedex audit reports
It is therefore possible that suppliers have uploaded expired or for other reasons invalid documents, or outright false information. Keep in mind that the purpose of the report is to do the groundwork in terms of researching suppliers.
Do you guarantee that the suppliers will accept our order?
No, it is always up to the suppliers to decide whether they accept your order.
Do you guarantee that the suppliers are reliable?
Suppliers cannot be classified as consistently ‘reliable’ or ‘unreliable’. While we filter suppliers based on the selection criteria to find the most qualified companies, the outcome depends entirely on how the process as a whole is managed. There are also other supplier related risks to be taken into consideration that can never be eliminated by our selection criteria. Here are a few examples:
Failure to produce a satisfying product sample
Quality issues during production
Failure to adhere to initial quotations
Frauds perpetrated by individual employees (e.g. payment scams)
Our selection is based on an assessment – which cannot reasonably predict every single outcome. Do not assume that the suppliers listed in the report are by default and in every situation ‘reliable’ or ‘quality’ suppliers.
Do you guarantee product quality?
No, the Sourcing Report itself does not guarantee that the product will reach certain quality requirements. It is therefore important that you:
1. Have a clear and well defined product specification
2. Arrange pre-shipment quality inspections
3. Arrange product lab testing to verify compliance (when necessary)
Do you guarantee that the suppliers will not use our product design and brand?
No, we don’t offer design or brand protection in any capacity. It is up to you to obtain the necessary intellectual property protections available, such as design patents, utility patents, and trademarks whenever necessary.
What happens if we are not satisfied with the report?
If so we must first understand the cause. We will remake the report free of charge as long as there is room for improvement. That said, we can only find suppliers that are actually out there – and sometimes it turns out that the number of suppliers is limited.
Further, we can only reflect actual market conditions in terms of pricing, MOQ, and sample costs.
Do you help us order products after the report?
No, we don’t assist with product sample orders or production orders. You will have to manage all communications with the supplier once the report is delivered.
Can I pay with my Visa or MasterCard?
Yes, we offer credit card payments through PayPal or Stripe. Customers based in certain countries may be required to create a PayPal account in order to make a Credit Card transaction. This is free and only takes a moment. You just need to add your email address and agree with the Paypal Terms of Service. With Stripe, you don’t need to create an account.
Can I pay with PayPal?
Yes, you can pay with your balance, bank account, or credit card through PayPal.
Do you have a refund policy?
We only offer refunds if the order is cancelled before we have started the sourcing process. Once it has started you have no right to request a refund. Further, we do not process refunds if you have downloaded any of the templates, guides, or used support to ask questions.
Do you offer a safe payment method?
Yes, all payments are processed by PayPal or Stripe, which uses an SSL certificate to encrypt your data.
Will I receive an invoice for my company?
Yes, it’s delivered together with the payment confirmation email.
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