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Denmark - Selling and buying

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Reaching the consumers

Marketing opportunities

Main advertising agencies:

Distribution network

Evolution of the sector: The Danish population has one of the highest income levels in the European Union. The Danish consumer therefore is one of most demanding in Europe.
The retail market is well developed in all segments. Retail sales have exceeded 50 billion USD in 2010. The sector has seen significant consolidation over the past decade, including large retail chains, to the detriment of small and independent specialty stores, particularly in the food trade and clothing. Due to the 2008-2009 recession, bankruptcies have increased among retailers..
Types of outlet: Contrary to other European countries, neighborhood stores play an important role in the Danish distribution market. According to the Danish office of statistics, in 2004 there were 23,573 legal entities registered in the wholesale trade and 26,335 entities in the retail trade.

The mass-market sector is dominated by two groups:

- the consumer co-op F.D.B, which is the leading Danish distributor (with 33% of the market-share in 2003) and owner of many stores like Kvickly, Brugsen, OBS, Irma and Fakta. F.D.B supplies 1,200 points-of-sale (hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini-markets and discount stores).

- the group Dansk super-marked (en anglais) with 465 points-of-sale; its main stores being Bilka and Netto

The 3 large chain stores in Denmark are:

- Magasin du Nord

- Illum. Although competitors to one another, Illum and Magasin du Nord belong to the same group of Icelandic origin known as Baugur Groupe.

- Salling, part of the Dansk Supermarked group.

Shopping centers and malls generated a sales turnover of EUR 5,5 billion in 2003 equal to 20% of the retail trade. The main shopping center is Field's Copenhagen with an area of 115,000 square meters.

The evolution of distribution circuits is characterized by mergers of central buying offices and the creation of new chains allowing their members to supply themselves at lower cost and thus consolidate their positions in the market.

Market access procedures

Economic Cooperation: Denmark is a member of EU Customs Union. It is also a member of ASEM (en anglais) and since it is an EU country, Denmark has multilateral and bilateral agreements with many countries.
Non tariff barriers: In accordance with its European Union membership, Denmark applies the European Union (EU) rules that are in force in all European Union countries. While the EU has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, there is a certain number of restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on import and export of farm products aimed at favoring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory.
Average Customs Duty (excluding agricultural products): Operations carried out within the EEA are free of duty.
The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, especially for industrial products (4.2% on average).
Customs classification: The Combined Nomenclature of the European Community (EC) integrates the HS nomenclature and supplements it with its own subheadings with an eight-digit code number and its own Legal Notes created for Community purposes.
Import procedures: For goods of a value under 1000kg or EUR1000, a verbal declaration at Customs, and presenting the invoice, is sufficient.
For higher values, you must deposit at the Customs office:
1) a brief declaration (air or maritime manifest) to conclude the collection of the goods.
2) a common law declaration (SAD, single administrative document), as well as the accompanying documents to allow their clearance.
The SAD form can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce or an approved printer. A computerized Customs clearance platform (SOFI: International freight computer system) can be accessed in Customs offices or in some Chambers of Commerce.

In the case of deliveries and purchases within the European Community, the declaration of exchange of goods (DEB) or Intrastate declaration must be sent to the Customs service.

As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.

Organizing goods transport

Organizing goods transport to and from: The largest railway operator in Denmark is Danske Statsbaner (DSB) — Danish State Railways. Arriva operates some routes in Jutland, and several other smaller operators provide local services, mainly outside the Aalborg area.


There is a traditional suburban train network in the greater Copenhagen area. S-trains (in Danish: S-tog ) are electric trains connecting the city center with the suburbs of Copenhagen. The numerous trains leave at 10 or 20 minute intervals. S-trains run from 05:00 hours (weekdays) (06:00 Sundays) until about 0:30 hours.

An automated driverless rail rapid transit system serving Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. The system opened in 2002 and currently has two lines with 22 stations and 21.3 km of track.

More information on Transport info website.

Sea transport organizations:
Air transport organizations:
Rail transport organizations:

Domestic business directories

Trade Agencies and their representations abroad:
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