European Commission opens new one-stop-shop on export to EU

The Export Helpdesk is available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The European Commission on Tuesday launched the new version of the Export Helpdesk, a free one-stop-shop online service to businesses in developing countries on how to export to the European Union.

The Export Helpdesk, created in 2004, captures in concrete terms an example of the EU’s commitment to facilitating trade with developing countries.

Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, the Export Helpdesk aims to support those countries most in need, particularly on information on EU requirements, taxes, tariffs, preferential arrangements, rules of origin, and statistics that apply to their products.

Besides keeping the website regularly updated, the European Commission said the Export helpdesk team would be organizing regular capacity-building trainings in the field.

The desk provides the full list of requirements a product needs to fulfill to enter the EU market; calculates the import tariff applying to different product and provides a preferential tariff that applies in specific cases; provides a list of useful contacts in the EU, such as relevant public bodies and chambers of commerce; helps market research by providing detailed statistics on EU trade flows product-by-product and explains the preferential trade agreements applying to cases and how to prove the origin of your product.

The revised version includes new features, including “My export” section, which provides the key data applying to a product; new pages explaining how the EU works and what the rules are for doing business in the EU; tips and tricks for better understanding EU legislation; detailed explanations on rules and proofs of origin necessary in order to benefit from preferential arrangements and a 3-minute video explaining how to use the Export Helpdesk.

The EU is a large market of half a billion of inhabitants, accounting for about 7 per cent of the world population and generates 25.2 per cent of the world’s GDP.

The EU has a single set of trade rules, each applying to 27 countries, while its import tariffs are amongst the lowest in the world, with developing countries having excellent market access to with low or zero tariffs and significantly reduced other market distortions.

About 70 per cent of the EU’s agricultural imports come from developing countries, while more imports come from the Least Developed Countries than the US, Canada, Japan and China put together.

The Export Helpdesk’s website is


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