The Gifts and Decoration
Market in Austria
HS-Codes: 34, 39, 44, 46, 67, 69, 80, 83
A report prepared by the
Office of Commercial Affairs
Royal Thai Embassy Vienna
C O N T E N T
1 Market Overview Page 3 1.1 Consumption Page 3 1.2 Production Page 3 1.3 Opportunities and Threats Page 4 1.4 Useful Sources Page 4
2 Trade Channels Page 4
3 Imports Page 7 3.1 Statistics Page 7 3.2 Opportunities Page 8 3.3 Useful Sources Page 8
4 Market Access Requirements Page 9 4.1 Packaging, Marking and Labelling Page 9 4.2 Tariffs Page 10
5 Doing Business Page 10
Appendices Page 11 A1 Product Groups Page 11 A2 HS Codes Page 13
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• The total consumption of gifts and decorative articles in 2005 (no later data available) in Austria
1amounted to 294 Mio USD (207 Mio EUR). Austria accounted for 2% of the EU-27 gifts and
decorative articles consumption. Compared to the other researched markets, Austria was one of the small markets in Europe in 2005. Consumption increased by 1.8% during the period 2001-2005, or 0.9% on average annually.
• Plasticware was the largest product group sold in 2005, accounting for 26% of total consumption. The second largest product group was Candles, which amounted to 25.8% of total consumption, followed by Ceramics (17.2%), Woodware (9%), Metalware (8.8%), Paperware (4.8%), Art. Flowers and Fruits (4.6%), Wickerwork (3.7%), and Glassware (N.A.).
• Austria has one of the largest GDPs per capita for 2007 and 2008 in Europe, which enables Austrians to spend more of their disposable income on gifts and decorative articles.
• According to Euromonitor, consumption is expected to increase slightly in the period 2006 – 2009,
especially in the segments concerning small home furnishings and decorations. However, sales of expensive china and porcelain are expected to continue to decrease in absolute value.
• The trend of declining of loyalty among consumers in favour of the attractive price and reasonable quality of many discounted private label gifts and decorative articles continued in both 2006 and 2007. For example, Ikea private label decorative articles represented one of the leading brands in value terms.
• Demand for decorative articles will primarily stem from a continuous cycle of new generations of single householders and replacement needs, as well as more enthusiastic hobby hosts searching for premium or specialised products.
• Total Austrian production of gifts and decorative articles amounted 111 Mio USD (78 Mio EUR) in 2006. Production in Austria increased by 25.8% during the period 2002 – 2006.
• Plasticware was Austria’s most produced product in 2006, accounting for 76.6% of total production.
Followed by Ceramics (14.8%), Woodware (7.3%), and Candles (1.3%). Production figures for Art. Flowers and Fruits, Wickerwork, Paperware, Metalware, and Glassware are not available for Austria.
• According to Euromonitor, production of gifts and decorative articles in Austria has an uncertain future due to high manufacturing costs in the country and the general trend towards outsourcing for the lower segments of the market.
1 Exchange rate: 1 EUR = 1.4187 USD, 1 USD = 0.7048 EUR, Source: Website of the Bank of Thailand accessed 13.08.2009
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1.3 Opportunities and threats
+ Exporters from Thailand will be faced with increased demands for higher quality, environmentally and socially friendly products.
+ Many Austrian producers will continue to outsource their manufacturing to developing countries (DCs) in order to reduce their costs.
- As less expensive Chinese imports continue to make inroads into the Austrian market, the industry will have a difficult time growing in value.
1.4 Useful sources
• Euromonitor – Research agency (http://www.euromonitor.com)
• Datamonitor – Research agency (http://www.datamonitor.com)
• Market Research – Research agency (http://www.marketresearch.com)
• Austrian Trade (http://www.austriantrade.org/austriantrade/austriantrade/en/)
• Austrian Business Agency: (http://www.aba.gv.at)
2 Trade channels for market entry
• Wholesalers, importing manufacturers, grocery multiples and non-specialised chains, like hypermarkets, discounters and do-it-your-self chains are potential trade channels for exporters in Thailand.
• Price competition in the retail sector is extremely aggressive and the retailer concentration in many retail sub-sectors is increasing. The latter trend is escalating as the giant retailer groups attempt to expand and win market share through the acquisition of small and medium-sized retailers. Gifts and decorative articles are retailed through a wide variety of different retailers. The variety stores and department stores as well as the hypermarkets are generally considered to be the leading retailers.
• As the number of actors in the export chain can differ and the quality and contents of each actor also, it is impossible to give a standard overview of costs and margins for the different phases in the process. However, there is a rule of thumb in the market for interior articles and gifts that an article with an FOB price of 1 USD will sell for around 4 to 5 USD in the shop in Europe. In the more expensive countries like the UK, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries a markup of 6 to 6.5 (instead of 5) is more common, going up to 8 for the high end of the market. The mark-up in the new east European countries will be closer to 3.5 – 4, although this will rise with the growing prosperity in these countries.
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Figure 2: Trade and distribution channels for gifts and decorative articles
• A good source for information about (potential) trading partners is Dun & Bradstreet (http://www.dnb.com/). This company specialises in sourcing reliable, consistent and objective credit information about potential trading partners. Also on the following sources of information on trade partners can be found: the foreign–trade Chamber of Commerce of the country of destination, the Economic Affairs department of the official representative (Embassy or Consulate) of the country of destination, Import promotion organizations, Trade associations and Trade fair organisers.
Tab. 2: Overview of margins in Austria
Cost Structure Price in USD
FOB price 1.00
Plus mark-up importer/wholesaler 60-120%
Imported in Europe (wholesale value) 2.00
Plus mark-up retailer 100%
In Shop (retail value) 4.00
Plus VAT 20%
Consumer Price 4.80
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Major importers of gifts and decorative articles in Austria are:
• Present Handels GesmbH, Paul, garden decoration (http://www.paulpresent.com/)
Contact Paul Present Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Tel. +43(0) 1 8698173
• Bremel Handelshaus GesmbH & Co.KG, a leading importer of non-perishable consumer
goods from the Far East (http://www.bremel.at)
Contact Bremel Handelshaus GmbH
Tel. +43 (0) 732-770419
http://www.decor-center.at) • Dekor-Center Austria Handels GesmbH, home decoration, paper gifts (
Contact Decor-Center Austria HandelsGmbH
Tel. +43 (0)7242 47523-0
Major retail chains in Austria are:
• Gerngross Kaufhaus Aktiengesellschaft, department store for all types of goods, including
Contact Gerngross Kaufhaus AG
Kärntner Straße 19
Tel. +43 (0)1 503 98 82-0
• F.W. Woolworth Co. GmbH., home decoration (http://www.woolworth.at)
Contact F.W. Woolworth Co. GmbH
Tel. +43 (0) 732 - 78 12 60 - 0
• Furniture, decor and art by European designers (http://woka.com)
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Thai customs department
Full Year in Mio USD Jan-Jun Year to Date in Mio USD
Share Share HS Description Change Change 2006 2007 2008 2008 2007 2008 2009 2009 08/07 09/08 [%] [%]
Gifts and Decoration 0.41 0.56 0.75 100.0 33.5 0.21 0.39 0.17 100.0 -55.5
830629 Statuettes and other
ornaments 0.14 0.22 0.38 51.2 71.4 0.01 0.32 0.03 15.2 -91.8
340600 Candles, Tapers
And The Like 0.11 0.16 0.13 17.2 -18.3 0.05 0.01 0.04 25.6 660.3
701391 Other Glassware,
2Lead Crystal, Nesoi 0.01 0.02 0.09 11.9 314.4 0.01 0.00 0.01 3.7 0.0
701399 Other Glassware,
Not Lead Crystal,
Nesoi 0.00 0.00 0.01 1.4 301.0 0.00 0.01 0.08 48.6 693.2
482050 Albums For
Paper/Paperboard 0.05 0.00 0.01 1.3 0.0 0.00 0.01 0.01 3.7 -33.7
Tab. 3.1.1 Austrian imports of gifts and decoration products from Thailand
Source: Thai Customs Department
According to the Thai Customs Department in 2008, total Thai imports of gifts and decoration products
into Austria amounted to 0.75 Mio USD in value. This figure shows an increase of 34% compared to the
In the period from January to June 2009 Austrian imports decreased by 55.5% compared to the same
period in 2008.
In relative size, Thai exports of gifts and decoration products in 2008 consisted of 3 major groups
statuettes and other ornaments (51%), candles, tapers and the like (17%) and other glassware made of lead
• Statuettes and other ornaments of plastic increased 2008 by 71% and decreased in the period from
Jan – Jun 2009 by 92%.
• Candles, tapers and the like decreased 2008 by 18% and increased in the period from Jan – Jun 2009
• Other glassware made of lead crystal increased in 2008 by 314% and in the period from Jan – Jun
2009 it totally amounted to 6,000USD compared to 0 of the same period in 2008.
2 Nesoi = not elswhere specified
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% % %
Value FY Share Change Value Jan-May YTD Change Rank Country
2006 2007 2008 2008 2008/07 2007 2008 2009 2009/08
413.8 424.3 430.3 100.0 1.4 164.8 180.4 132.5 -26.5 World
1 154.2 176.6 180.1 41.8 1.9 68.0 73.2 61.7 -15.7 Germany
2 94.4 94.8 96.6 22.4 1.9 35.3 37.0 25.5 -31.0 Liechtenstein
3 26.5 25.5 31.8 7.4 24.8 9.3 12.7 8.6 -32.3 China
4 38.2 37.8 29.2 6.8 -22.6 14.8 15.1 7.6 -49.8 Netherlands
5 19.5 21.0 26.3 6.1 25.4 8.1 11.6 7.8 -32.1 Italy
22 0.8 1.0 0.8 0.2 -17.9 0.4 0.4 0.3 -20.8 Thailand
23 1.0 0.9 0.7 0.2 -15.2 0.3 0.5 0.2 -56.1 Hong Kong
24 0.4 0.4 0.7 0.2 97.0 0.1 0.4 0.3 -38.9 Taiwan
33 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.0 -40.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 -75.3 South Korea
Tab. 3.1.2 Austrian imports of gifts and decoration products worldwide
According to Eurostat in 2008, total imports of gifts and decoration products into Austria amounted to
430 Mio USD in value.
The total imports into Austria have grown over 1.4% in 2008 to 2007 and decreased in the period from Jan-May 2009 by 26.7% compared to the same period 2008.
ndIn 2008 Thailand was ranked as the 22 biggest exporter of gifts and decoration products to Austria with rd rdan market share of 0.2% following its competitor China (3= 7.4%) but before Hong Kong (23 = 0.2%) thand Taiwan (24 = 0.2%).
+An increasing share, 10.2%, of gifts and decorative articles imports into Austria came from DCs in 2006.
This percentage was significantly higher in the following product groups: Glassware, Woodware, Metalware, and Candles. The share was significantly lower for other product groups.
+ Austria will continue to depend on cheap imports from other countries in order to meet domestic demand for lower segment products.
3.3 Useful sources
• EU Expanding Exports Helpdesk - http://export-help.cec.eu.int/
• Eurostat – official statistical office of the EU - http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int
• Understanding eurostat: Quick guide to easy comext
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4 Market access requirements
Manufacturers in Thailand that prepare to access the Austrian market should be aware of the market access requirements of their trading partners and the Austrian government. Requirements are demanded through legislation and through labels, codes and management systems. These requirements are based on environmental, consumer health and safety and social concerns. The manufacturer need to comply with Austrian legislation and has to be aware of the additional non-legislative requirements which their trading partners in Austria might request.
4.1 Packaging, marking and labelling
Packaging is a vital part of successful export operations. Export packaging has to comply with a number of additional requirements as exporting implies longer transport, rougher handling and tougher competition than domestic trading. Consumer packaging has changed a good deal in recent years. Packaging no longer serves the purposes of distribution and protection, but plays an important role in image building, communication and environmental protection. Packaging serves three basic functions:
• It protects your product during transportation
• It breaks down your product to sellable units (e.g. transforming bulk goods into consumer units), or
simply makes the product easily accessible for consumers
• It conveys a message to the buyer/consumer (marking and labelling)
Products from Thailand have a long distance to travel before reaching their destinations in Austria. Therefore, it is very important that close attention is paid to the packaging of products. Good packaging protects products from, for example, the fluctuations and extremes of temperature, relative humidity, vibration and shock, impact, getting wet and getting lost.
Depending on the choice of distribution channel, both the outer and the consumer packing should be adapted to the demands of the importers/retailers and the consumer. Most distributors place strong emphasis on attractive, easy-to-handle, and self-promoting packing materials. Packing in sturdy corrugated boxes with dimensions enabling easy handling and weight (not exceeding 25 kg per carton) is recommended. Wherever possible, the outer cartons should be placed together on pallets, to further avoid the risks of damage during transit.
Attractive consumer packaging is important, especially for gifts. The consumer packaging should attract attention, clearly show the contents - either by picture or by see-through packing - and contain information on the use of the product. In other words, the packaging should match the design, image, quality and price of the product. Attractive consumer packaging is definitely a sales argument.
EU legislation for packaging and packaging waste
To harmonise the different forms of legislation on packaging and packaging waste in EU countries, the EU has issued the directive 94/62/EC, which regulates minimum requirements. With effect from August 1, 2001, these minimum requirements will require a recovery quota of 50-65 percent for packaging materials brought into the EU and will regulate the presence of four heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium). Austria has a certain freedom in how to comply with the recovery rate but at least
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25-45 percent of the material brought into the EU must be recycled, with a minimum of 15 percent for each material. The maximum available sum of concentrations of lead, mercury and hexavalent
EU legislation wooden packaging
On March 1st, 2005, the EU introduced a set of new requirements for wood packaging materials. The rules are aimed at preventing plant viruses and the like from entering Europe. Wood packaging material is considered a plant product and is among those products that can carry harmful organisms such as insects or viruses. The EU Directive applies to all wood packaging materials imported into the EU. One of the main requirements is that wood packaging material has to go through heat treatment that involves a minimum wood core temperature of 56 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 30 minutes (heat treatment or HT). Alternatively, it may be fumigated with methyl bromide. Moreover, the treated wood must bear a mark with the two-letter ISO country code, a code identifying the producer and a code identifying the approved measure applied to the wood packaging material. To obtain the required mark after having treated your material according to the rules, exporters should contact the national plant protection organisation (NPPO).
Up-to-date information on import tariffs and an updated list of least DCs can be obtained from the Customs authorities in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, through their online system, known as the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (TARIC) at (http://www.douane.nl). A detailed list of HS codes can
be found in Appendix A2. Other sources of information are the European Commission, trade associations and importers.
Import duty for gifts and decoration articles range from 0% to 11%. A detailed list of respective tariffs can be found in Appendix A2. More information on tariffs and quotas can be found at
The VAT in Austria is currently 20%.
5. Doing business
For information on doing business in Austria, visit the following websites:
• Austrian Trade Fair Association - Up-to-date program for large trade fairs in Austria
• Trade shows in Austria (http://www.biztradeshows.com/austria/)
• Austrian Exhibitions, Conferences & Trade Shows
• Domizil (magazine) (http://www.domizil.at/front_content.php)
• Ecosophia (magazine) (http://www.ecosophia.at/)
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