New EU web portal "Access2Markets" helps companies trade internationally
The European Commission's interactive web portal Access2Markets provides small and medium-sized EU companies with product-specific information on trade agreements, customs regulations and rules of origin. This facilitates trade with third countries.
International trade in goods and services creates various challenges: For example, what is the tariff rate for a toaster that is exported from Germany to India? Which taxes are levied on the import of a vacuum cleaner in Indonesia? And how many German electric motors have been sold in Mexico in recent years? The Access2Markets portal provides answers to these and many other questions in just a few clicks. It was launched by the European Commission in October 2020.
The European Single Market has made cross-border trade within the EU much easier. However, trade with third countries is often more complicated. Differences in international regulations are one of the reasons: The EU has more than 40 trade agreements with over 70 countries.
Two in one - Access2Markets combines information
Access2Markets offers valuable support especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and those which just started trading internationally. Some functions will be familiar to many users: Access2Markets combines and extends the content of the two existing EU trade portals "Market Access Database" (MADB) and "Trade Helpdesk".
The tool "My Trade Assistant" is particularly important on the platform. It allows companies to access a wide range of information. All they need to do is to enter a product name or HS code as well as the export and import country. The tool then lists potential customs duties that will be levied on product imports in the destination country and any additional taxes. It also provides information on general and product-specific formalities, such as technical regulations and customs procedures, and on existing barriers to trade. Statistics on trade flows of specific product groups can also be tracked.
New tools for more transparency
A new feature of the Access2Markets portal is ROSA (Rules of Origin Self-Assessment), another interactive tool for assessing the origin of a product. ROSA helps companies to determine whether a product meets the rules of origin that are required for a tariff reduction under a trade agreement. ROSA is currently available for products traded under the agreements with Canada, Japan and South Korea.
Additionally, Access2Markets offers the possibility to report trade barriers, step-by-step instructions and checklists for trade in goods and services, information on foreign investment, as well as company stories and news.
Companies operating internationally used to spend a lot of time and effort to collect information on import and export. Today, they can find much of this information in a consolidated and user-friendly manner in the Access2Markets portal - a further step towards facilitating international trade.