Access2Markets portal supports trade for one year already

Exactly one year ago, in mid October 2020, the European Commission launched its free and helpful Access2Markets online portal to assist small and medium-sized firms with their trade beyond the EU’s borders.

The portal serves both companies that already trade internationally, and those that are only starting to explore opportunities in foreign markets. It offers better explanation of trade agreements and helps companies ensure their products are eligible for duty discounts.

The European Union has a large network of trade agreements with over 70 countries and regions and is currently negotiating new deals. Access2Markets breaks this complex set of rules down into practical information so that smaller firms can have access to relevant information more easily. Concretely, Access2Markets delivers the trading conditions to import goods to the EU and to export goods to over 120 foreign markets.

The portal allows companies to look up the following details for imported and exported goods, in just a few clicks:

  • Tariffs
  • Taxes
  • Rules of origin
  • Product requirements
  • Customs procedures
  • Trade barriers
  • Trade flow statistics

The new Access2Markets portal also includes explanations, tutorials and FAQs to help new as well as 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.

Small businesses represent 88% of all EU exporters. Their exports account for one third of all EU exports and support 13 million jobs. Global markets are an important source of growth for European small and medium-sized companies. The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic therefore welcomes the Commission’s effort to assist small businesses, especially in the era of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The portal is optimised for use on smartphones and tablets. It includes additional user-friendly functions to help businessmen and women get the most out of the EU’s trade agreements. And, it is completely free of charge.


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