Trade and Market Intelligence
Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The country’s import rules and customs standards are therefore those of the European Union, which promotes free international trade but maintain a level of control. Thus, quality and transparency restrictions and requirements are applied to agricultural products from outside of the European Union: the presence of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) must be indicated on the packaging and hormone-fed beef, for example, is forbidden. Tariffs are not applied between EU member states, and are relatively low for non-members (4.2% on average).
The country has concluded trade agreements with various countries including the Mediterranean agreements, the ACP Agreements (which remove most customs duties for developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) and the Generalised System of Preferences. The importation of goods into the European Union requires an Entry Summary Declaration for the Import Control System aimed at encouraging more trade in goods, which is promoted by the World Customs Organisation.
Retail in Luxembourg has a small market, but the country has one of the highest levels of purchasing power in the world. Consumer spending is high, up to 70% more than in Belgium or the Netherlands. Currently, the retail sector is occupied by three key players: Cactus, Louis Delhaize and Auchan. Since it has no coastline, the country must rely on an extensive and very well maintained road network to transport goods and transport by train is on the increase. In addition to road transport Luxembourg also operates domestic airports.
Luxembourg’s industry is dominated by the production of plastic and chemical products. Steel production and the production of mineral products are also primary industrial sectors.
Confédération Luxembourgeoise du Commerce
Ministry of Transport
Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg
Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises
Fédération des Industriels Luxembourgeois
Employment Legislation in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg, the working day may not exceed ten hours and the working week is limited to 40 hours.
Although permanent contracts are most common, fixed-term contracts are also possible; however, the latter are highly regulated by law. The retirement age is 65 and the minimum wage is calculated according to the employee’s age and qualifications, but the minimum level is 1,610 EUR.
Social insurance contributions paid by the employer vary between 12.61% and 14.86% and between 11.80% and 14.05% are contributed by the employee.
The two main trade unions in Luxembourg are the LCGB and the OGBL and 50% of the employees are members.
Intellectual Property Regime in Luxembourg
|Type of rights||Legislation||Validity of protection||Agreements signed|
|Patents||Act of April 18, 2004||20 years||-Patent Cooperation Treaty
|Brands||Benelux Law on trademarks of December 2, 1992||10 years, renewable for 10 years with no limit||– Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services
– Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
|Designs||Benelux Law on designs or models of 1973 and Community Regulation 6/2002 of 2001||5 years, renewable for up to 25 years|
|Reproduction rights||Act of April 18, 2004||70 years after the author’s death||– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
– Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers
– WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
– WIPO Copyright Treaty
– Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms
Luxembourg Political Data
Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy headed by the Grand Duke (Henri de Luxembourg), whose power is handed down on a hereditary basis. But the Executive power of the country is actually exercised by the Prime Minister (Xavier Bettel), elected as leader of the majority party.
Legislative power is held by the Chamber of Deputies (60 members elected by general election for five years). It exercises its duties alongside the Council of State and the Government.
There are four major parties in Luxembourg:
- The Christian Democrat Party
- The Socialist Party
- The Democratic Party
- The Alternative Green Party