The European Commission has launched the Access2Markets online portal to help small and medium-sized firms trade beyond the EU's borders.
The new portal responds to requests from stakeholders to better explain trade agreements and help companies ensure their products are eligible for duty discounts. It will serve both companies that already trade internationally and those that are only starting to explore opportunities in foreign markets.
The portal allows companies to look up the following details for imported and exported goods, in just a few clicks:
The new Access2Markets portal also includes explanations, tutorials and FAQs to help new and experienced traders analyse the benefits of trade with each of the EU's trading partners. It provides an overview of EU laws on products and services, as well as contact details for customs and other public authorities in EU Member States and in the EU's trading partners. Businesses can also use the portal to contact DG TRADE to report trade barriers they encounter.
Access2Markets' self-assessment tool, ROSA, provides special assistance on the rules that define the 'economic nationality' of a product, known as 'rules of origin'. These are tailor-made in every trade deal, making sure that sensitive market sectors are protected and that companies can claim reduced or eliminated customs duties as set in the agreement. Companies can also find information on how trade agreements regulate trade in services or on the conditions to invest or take part in public calls for tenders in a foreign market.
Every product traded internationally has a code that determines what import duties and national or local taxes need to be paid. On Access2Markets, businesses can find not only the code but also what duties they need to pay in each jurisdiction. The portal's My Trade Assistant Tool enables businesses to look up information on duties, taxes, product rules and requirements on a product-by-product basis for each market.
Source: European Commission