Explained: yellow sticker on package “Goods Do Not Meet The Requirement Of Article 9…”

If you find a yellow sticker on a package (it might originate from Amazon) that reads Goods Do Not Meet The Requirement Of Article 9 and 10 Of The Contract For The Foundation Of The European Community or the text Goods not fulfilling the conditions prescribed by Articles 9 and 10 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, it’s almost impossible to know what this sticker is all about.

Let me explain in short: the sticker is added to the package since the package was transported in Europe by a European package company/operator, BUT the package itself is did not originate from Europe (but rather from outside the EU, such as the United States or China).

Online companies like Amazon always try to deliver your package as cheap as possible so they can keep their prices low. Thus, they make deals with European companies to deliver some of their packages with European destinations to reduce costs.

So to conclude, the sticker is just a little warning or information label that informs operators that custom duties and other fees still need to be paid on this parcel – even while it was handled by a European company.

And what are articles 8 and 9? They are all about intra-European exchange of goods and services, so they refer to import tariffs and the like. So now you know!

This particular package came from the USA to Belgium.

Yellow sticker

“Goods Do Not Meet The Requirement Of Article 9 and 10 Of The Contract For The Foundation Of The European Community”


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64 thoughts on “Explained: yellow sticker on package “Goods Do Not Meet The Requirement Of Article 9…”

  1. Thanks I received a parcel from China via the Netherlands with this label today and wondered what it was for. The parcel itself was only £9 in value so it attracted no tax. I guess if it were of a higher value they’d have seen the sticker and then held it at customs until I pad the tax. Makes sense. Thanks again.

      1. How easy to throw mud on the EU as soon as it is mentioned, without understanding what is going on.

        VAT (which most often applies to such private parcels) is charged by individual countries, not by the EU. The EU, on the contrary, abolished import taxes and duties within its territory and created a common market with free circulation of goods.

        1. “… but I am easily scared and immediately suspend critical thinking when confronted with why the EU and EC are helpful to my everyday standards of living and how inter-trade agreements work.”

          – Michael

          1. Brussels-speak is the problem.
            Nothing wrong with being well informed but do we need their numbers.

        2. No tax or duty is abolished in EU. Stop promoting lies. Countries will even add VAT over services purchased in other countries, such as posting fees! Anyone who receives a package from abroad and he is charged with import taxes, knows that the amount they add the VAT is value of product plus posting! Another “great” achievement of EU.
          VAT is abolished within EU only for merchants and their merchandise. You say he EU does not charge VAT but surely EU has set the lowest allowed VAT, that is 15%. How do you explain that? At the same time citizens pay their full share of VAT, no matter the state or the origin of purchase. On top of that, there are great limitations that prove your argument to be wrong. No EU citizen can buy a car from a neighboring country without paying both import taxes and VAT in his own country. How can you call that “free circulation of goods”? How come cars are excluded, are they not goods? And if they are, dont you see that any limitation of free circulation of goods is a proof that there is actually no free circulation? Even in your own country, you get to pay severe taxes even for products that many times are made by your own country. Again cars are a great example. Where do you see the “free circulation”?
          All companies can choose where they will be taxed within EU (that’s why they move their headquarters to cheaper tax destinations) and that is “moral” by the EU standards but the poor guy who wants to buy his car 1000 euros cheaper from the neighboring country is a problem for the EU economies and needs to be given a lesson so that he wont do it again. Who has legislated in favor of these regulations? EU of course, who supports the common market with free circulation. Give me a break!

          1. That is a wonderfully selective reading of the comment you replied to, and hits the nail on the head with regards to the EU-fears and Brussel-speak problems.

            I applaud you on your great use of satire to spotlight how the common/uneducated man thinks!

          2. I agree with you.Bought TrackR devices from USA and got this label.Swedish Custom had taken the custom – 25 %,the same as VAT if bought in Sweden-and above that the local distributor Post Nord put it’s own delivery payment.Total cost for devices paid by my became thus about 38-40 % more..
            And about VAT.As I activated my private hobby work to private company and got the VAT-number,the paid bills before that (VAT decision,in the end of the first working year for the company) were not able to defined as including VAT what I could get back (Ingoing VAT- outgoing VAT (outgoing,def. taken by me)= the difference back but as “mutual VAT-payments”.Summa summarum: the states are always after money,not for the benefit or wellbeing of the citizens.And EU- evenif it does good work in-for example- for protection of environment and social projects- the everyday bureaucracy is not well informed about the ongoing technological developement which would make the everyday life for all citizens (in every EU-country/in the world) easier.And I believe that the jobs in EU are mostly for higher status people in the different countries.Those who have money and positions always take care of each other within and between all countries…

          3. You are correct in general. EU is beneficial to the financial and large corporate sectors, but a big headache for a regular taxpayer. No law enforcement, no regulatory or any other harmonization. Lazy stealing and lying is the way of doing business in EU. Language barriers will prevent EU from ever competing on Global market. For another 100-150 years EU will remain a tribal, post-feudal, backwater separated by local bureaucracy & languages.

          4. Rightttt… because a Europe made of little countries each with their own set of inconsistent rules devised by their own group of corrupt politicians roaming freely with no further checks and balances is SOOO much better.

        3. The EU is nothing but pointless bureaucracy and corruption from a bunch of champagne socialists. It can’t crumble and burn fast enough — a process that it thankfully very well under way.

          1. If you were purchasing the same item from a shop, you would not question the 20% VAT – why should you evade paying tax due when ordering by post? This is not pointless bureaucracy as you cite. With regards to the crumbling of the EU well under way, I doubt you will say that when the UK returns to being the environmental dump of Europe, eroded of any working rights and controlled by the demands of corporate giants who dictate the governments every move… You will then wish you had not been so foolish and misguided.. It is happening already – no promised money for the NHS (other than paying by increased taxation), plans for stockpiling medicines, dividing the uk even more than it is….. I’m happy if I get a yellow sticker- if it means I need to pay tax due on something I have chosen to import, that is fine by me.

        4. The EU is nothing but pointless bureaucracy and corruption from a bunch of champagne socialists. It can’t crumble and burn fast enough — a process that it thankfully very well under way.

          1. Why are you repeating yourself again an again?
            Looks like you have a single point of view that you can’t even consider the possibility that it might be wrong.

  2. my package is china to Nederland,I pay more then 20 eurofor this yellow sicker. This is a kind of punishment that I do not buy inside EU.This really going o STOP me shopping there becuase plus this punishment payment

    1. everytime need to pay more then 20euro for the package which come from Asia then the totlaly amount is not going to be too cheap then local. So maybe I am going to really STOP place order to Asia. This is the way to tell us please support EU do not buying out side EU?? really sad use this kind of way to stop us shopping cheap stuff….

      1. It has always been like that, except that now the external border for trade is the EU border, because of the free movement of goods within.

        There have always been income taxes, that’s what customs is all about.

      2. Import duties in The Netherlands have always been like this. I’ve been importing (DVD’s) since 1998. The trick is to either use a service that has a EU warehouse (I used to have an Australian supplier with PAL DVD’s with NL-subtitles), or keep the total amount below €22, this used to be something like $30 back in the days before the Euro.

        Splitting orders can save you lots of money.

        Thanks for explaining the sticker btw :-)

        1. Thanks for this very useful addition. Good to know the limit they’re keeping on this.
          I actually order quite oftenly from Chinese sites and noticed the yellow sticker, without being charged extra (yet). I did wonder though what would be the plus of ordering from a EU warehouse. Now I know, thanks for explaining, Ramon. I did notice a slightly higher price on the EU direct products, but I guess it’s worth the buck to not run a TAX risk…

  3. I think the EU is going to be a beggars EU, they need to stop people from buying cheap and good things in Asai to save their crippeled economy.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, most countries levy import tax, and have customs. The thing with Europe is that there is free movement of trade within the EU, this merely indicates that despite being handled by a EU post agent, it is not from within the EU.

  4. kudos to you sir for posting this …got the sticker and the package no extra tax (guess my local post likes me ….but googled this out of fear …. i dont speak NL and the label sounded weird ..when i saw 9 / 10 i thought it was something like …really bad :D …like i lost 9/10 lives or something :D thx for clarifying

  5. i think it has no sense, every good that comes from an extra EU country is subject to customs duties, both if you’re a private or a company…
    Once an item comes in a EU country and is subjected to customs clearance it becomes factually on par as an EU good, and is free to travel tax free throughout all the EU.
    Now…I don’t think that exist such a thing as “transitation with eu courriers only” since will or nor whatever package will be handled by the delivery company of the country/ies it has to be delivered to…package comes anyway opriginally from China or extra UE, so is not an EU package in any ways and shall be treated the same, if it’s imported and given to the Eu delivery company that makes the delivery company the primar importer who has to make a clearance..otherwise it also can’t transitate on the EU soil…
    Even more because I have seen this labels for items which listing said it was located in the EU and sold from EU sellers..not foreign, so if it’s sold in the EU is also automatic that it’s considered EU merchandise…
    It really has no sense…

    1. True, except that postal companies (Such as the Swedish and Dutch posts) process packages that haven’t been send from within the EU. Don’t ask me how it works, but they seem to be able to offer cheaper fares for packages by sending them through their system. Obviously, this sticker only applies to goods that come from extra-EU countries into a EU member state, though dispatched by a post service of an EU country, if I’m not mistaken.

  6. I bought a radio from Amazon Germany. On the website was written “price VAT included”. When the parcel arrived (through the Netherlands Post) he had the yellow sticker and i had to pay custom fees!!! I don’t think this is OK from Amazon, how can guess somebody BEFORE purchasing something if it is or not from outside EU. And VAT included was clearly a lie since the goods were from outside EU. So better buy directly from Asia.

    1. Complain to Amazon, usually they are pretty responsive to complaints.

      I just got such a package (delivered from China through the Netherlands) but the value was only £3.49 so this was probably why it attracted no tax – hence me Googling the message on the sticker.

    2. Amazon USA now charges VAT and includes it in the shopping cart for EU countries and pays the VAT to the appropriate country for you, so the package is cleared for you and delivered without extra delay.

      Now you can see how much the total with VAT will be before you purchase instead of getting a surprise bill from customs. This also saves on extra fees some countries charge for undeclared packages.

  7. Has anyone been denied the chance to claim the package because they didn’t have the receipt to support the claims made on the shipping bill as to the contents of the package? I tried to send a gift to my brother and his family in Germany at Christmas time. 7 months later, I have gotten the package returned, sporting the yellow sticker and with a message that it was ‘not claimed.” My brother said that they required the original receipt.

  8. Taxes and fees are not still outstanding, as you stated. The people receiving the package in Europe (i.e Amazon europe) will owe the taxes and not the end client, who bought it from Amazon, clearly informed that they would not be liable…

    The sticker merely highlights the fact that the package initially came from the US or China etc.

    So yes, more EU bureaucratic tosh. The EU should be claiming money from Amazon (but perhaps Amazon has financed a few political careers…).

  9. Thanks for the explanation. I just received a book from the US, with the sticker on the outside. I first thought it was because the EU borders didn’t like the book, as it is written by Ben Klassen. You know, many EU countries, like Belgien for instance, doesn’t like free speech.

    I would advice all European countries to leave the EU, and UN. It has become a big rubbish hole.

    1. Nope, it’s people like yourself that defeats the sole purpose of democracy and free speech by crediting such trash as Ben Klassen and its white supremacist BS. If the EU is something we could call as “good”, it’s thanks to this kind of rules. Try reading Karl Popper instead and try to understand why, in a democracy, sometimes free speech must be scrutinized.

    2. Wolff you are so right the UN is a waste of Money that comes from member countries. UN peace officers well,check history in Bosnia Herzegovina slave trade, where a lot of anomalies did happen. There was a movie made of the situation.But it was covered up. I could go on forever but it makes me mad that a once great idea turned into shit.

  10. I got the pack with this yellow sticker added on it but the public post office in Greece didn’t asked me for any additional payment, thank God.
    I ordered a famous sport shoe brand from a famous chinesse website and even if I use this for more than a year and had many orders for several items, it was the first time I got this notice on this specific parcel.
    I have no clue what this was supposed to mean. I hope the EU won’t f*ck it up and on this section.

  11. Thank’s. Congratulation’s! Your explanation about this curious label was the first that Google found!

    Very helpful and reassuring.

    Got a bit worried that it was something to do with the package content’s — nimh battery’s – but it’s just some ec bureaucracy as other’s have said.


  12. I ordered a tee shirt from a company in the US. Ordered from them before and never had this stuck on my parc.
    At first I thought I had brought dodgy goods. Not a good quality tee shirt.
    Another way for the EU to try and con more money out of us.
    At least they did not try and get any money from me.

  13. Guys!
    Yellow sticker is a message from one EU postal company to another.
    It means that a package came from, say, China or US, landed in Belgium or Sweden and then was delivered to your godforsaken town somewhere in Portugal, Greece or Romania. Your local postal company checks yellow stickered package and if it’s over 22 Eur in value – your are taxed (VAT). And taxes stay in your poor country, not going to Belgium or Sweden. That’s EU solidarity.
    BR, Pepa

    1. Mine was $68.98 and I didn’t get charged in my “godforesaken town” in Spain. That’s more than €22.00 so you got that wrong!

  14. I had one attached to an envelope that contained a cheap key ring sent from the USA, to Germany and then on to the UK.. Better that the effort and cost was put into defending the Public against Terrorists.

  15. I bought some cheap electronic crap (a USB charger for a motorcycle) via LightInTheBox. The crap was delivered directly from China to Finland. The package had a similar yellow sticker but with Articles 28 and 29. The value was USD 9.99. Am I going to get a bill for import duty? The other odd thing is that the package had an old GSM phone number on it that I haven’t had for more than a decade. This was my first dealing with this company and I wonder where they got that old number from…

  16. Hello,

    I received a package which I ordered from china and a yellow sticker was on it with written “goods not fulfilling the conditions laid down in articles 28 and 29”. This package came from china to belgium. I got a bit worried so I called the mail in belgium to ask what this sticker was about but they said they never heard about that and it was probably an old wraping and the sticker was left by the sender and it should not be a problem. However im not totally reassured. Also the quantity was 40 so I am not sure if its a problem.

    Anyone knows about this ?

    Thank you

  17. yea, same thing in spain, order from amazon, items from china. yellow sticker with – “goods not fulfilling the conditions laid down in articles 28 and 29”. can anyone fill it what is going on?

  18. Every people wants to buy cheaper and quality goods outside EU, which actually “hard to find” things within EU. That’s why we order online outside EU. Got the same sticker too. But the real thing is, it’s so unfair for EU residents compare to those who Work in United Nation based in some EU countries! Which is supposedly no exemptions! Because they have exclusive Duty Free shop within UN offices. There they can buy goods from arround the world TAX FREE. Half price or cheaper than street price in EU. Even they earned or Paid Double or even more salary compared to a regular workers in EU. They can still get the best price inside UN! Which is Unfair!

    1. Only if the value is more than 22 euros. And usually you don’t receive the parcel or package until you’ve paid the VAT/customs, so if you have your order already you owe nothing.

      Sticker only announces that it has been delivered through some other EU country before entering your country and delivery company.

  19. This is exactly what Donald Trump wants.
    When he wanted to add a tax to US, the rest of the world trembles.
    But we have been doing this for decades.
    Such a double standard.
    If there are trade-contracts, the VAT should actually reflect that.
    But I guess the tax is larger like i Sweden we have 25% VAT from ROW.

  20. So much for transparency!
    I actually thought that stuff would always be taxed when entering the EU. So us poor consumers would be certain that no extra VAT & fees are added when buying from a (apparent) seller in the EU. Obviosly I was mistaken. But I find it sad that there are “scams” like this – definitely not good for the open market idea… :-(

  21. I got my order to day and it had this sticker on it.
    I paid my order 25€ when bought it, but haven’t had contact about extra VAT & fees, so is it possible that they may still charge them from me afterwards?

  22. I’m seeing lots of confused opinions here… My understanding is if the source is within the EU and is registered to collect VAT in their local EU country then they will charge VAT on ANY priced goods even sub 1Euro and pay it to their local revenue service and if that is to be passed on to the buyers revenue service that is covered by one of the many EU treaties, BUT if the item is sourced outside EU then it does not incur “import” VAT unless it is over a pre-determined limit, I heard it was 18USD including delivery costs and does not incur import duties as well as “import” VAT unless it’s over a certain much higher amount in excess of 100USD, I don’t know the exact amount at this time, again including delivery costs.
    In effect for low value items orders outside of EU are “import” VAT exempt while the same value item ordered from within the EU would still be VAT liable at source. But it swings around the other way for high value orders where import duty will be payable on top of import VAT for items supplied from outside the EU but items supplied from within the EU do not incur the extra import duty…
    This all relies upon the sender being accurate with Total value of package including shipping charges on the customs decleration label when item is not fullfilling the conditions prescribed by Article 9 and 10 of the treaty establishing the EEC.

    Also not all delivery methods withhold goods with import VAT/duty due… some offer a “waybill” system where THEY pay the local customs liability and then provide an online payment service whereby the recipient is asked to pay the outstanding import VAT/duty due. DHL did this with me for the import VAT they calculated from the total value stated on the packages customs decleration label. They delivered the goods, I noticed a Waybill bar code on the package and shrugged not knowing what it was about then later received a text message detailing the waybill and the amount due… google ressearched it, did my own calculation to confirm it was the import VAT on the total declared value on the label then went to the site given in the text message and paid it.

  23. I can understand the VAT tax etc. but the pkg. I sent to the UK as a gift was returned to me? I would like know why it was treated as imported goods bought from a company instead of a gift to a friend?

  24. Total redundant information. If all the sticker does is to indicate the package does not originate from Europe, then that information is already deductible from expediter country, unless you don’t know EU countries, which for customs office would be unacceptable.

  25. I am in the US and an individual mailed a gift to Germany. It was returned to her with this sticker. I noticed that she had not entered a value of the item she had mailed. Could this have been the reason for the return/sticker?

  26. I am in the US and a package from our client was returned that was destined to Germany. It had this sticker on the package. It was marked as Gift and had a value of $3.00USD. I don’t know why this sticker was applied as there is no duty and taxes on a gift worth $3.00. It would have to be more than 22 Euros. Why would they do this?

  27. I got the sticker on a pack today. The reason for the sticker in my case is that the information from the seller basically is a lie. Under details of content it sais Plastic box. Yes there is a plastick box that holdes the Hyaluronic Acid lip balm, but it should say lip balm not plastic box. It took a very long time to get the pack released from customs just because the selller can’t write what is actually inside the pack.

  28. Thank you for the information. Our package was ordered in UK from a USA source, who sent it to us via Germany through Deutsche Post. No details on the package about the contents. Make you wonder doesn’t it.

  29. I regularly receive small packets from Asia since several years, always aiming to be below this famous 23 (or is it 22 EUR) EUR limit. Customs sporadically picks out a larger sized packet and then comes claiming the sales slip price. I can imagine they have no real clue how to otherwise select packages for checking them with a reasonable success rate. I just this week received 2 envelope size packets from China where the yellow sticker shines in all it’s glory. No taxation undergone, all OK.

    Thank for posting this subject on this blog, it is very interesting reading to learn what it is all about!

  30. I ordered some stuff from Canada and got the package a few days ago with this sticker. Seems like a lot of people are also confused about what it means. The package was around $50. I got nothing else. No ticket saying to pay tax or anything. I’m a little worried that I now owe someone a ton of money in taxes just because I can’t find a good explanation… I’m from the Czech republic and the postal service isn’t really great. When I asked the company (out of helplessness) they just sent me to this forum saying that they don’t know anything about it.

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