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New EU Online Tool to Assist Importers and Exporters to the Union

The European Commission, DG TRADE, launched the Access2Markets online portal on 13 Oct. This is a multi-dimensional, user-friendly and multi-language tool with practical information, tips and guidelines for all companies engaged in international trade where it is for intra-EU or import & export activities. The new system combines 2 former databases (the Market Access Data Base and the EU Trade Helpdesk) into a single, multi-use portal, offering the possibility to look up the information product-by-product and country-by-country, in order to help companies find the information they need as quickly as possible.

Through an immediate and easy-to-catch display, users only need to search on “My Trade Assistant” and input the type of product, the country of origin and the country of trade destination. With the new portal, the European Commission has tried to make the access to world market information and trade flows as easy as possible. The portal breaks the complex set of rules down into practical information covering all the trade agreements the EU has established with 70 countries and regions, dealing with topics such as:

  • tariffs,
  • taxes at national and regional level,
  • rules of origin – including a self-assessment tool called ROSA,
  • product requirements (e.g. labelling),
  • customs procedures and formalities,
  • VAT/excise duties/sales taxes,
  • trade barriers,
  • trade statistics by individual goods and country.

Together with the product-by-product and country-by-country specifications on imports and exports, Access2Markets also provides information on:

  • step-by-step guides into importing/exporting goods and services,
  • a tool to help assess the product’s origin,
  • trade terminology explained along the way,
  • examples of how certain tariffs will fall over time.
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Alastair Tempest

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