Trade regulations:Sell, sell, sell
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CTA. 1999. Trade regulations:Sell, sell, sell. Spore 83. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46512
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore83.pdf
Goodbye import duties. Farewell quotas. Hello rules. Trade in agricultural products from ACP countries now has to comply with complex new rules, often about quality. We look at how to jump the latest barriers.With world trade now liberalised under...
Goodbye import duties. Farewell quotas. Hello rules. Trade in agricultural products from ACP countries now has to comply with complex new rules, often about quality. We look at how to jump the latest barriers. With world trade now liberalised under the World Trade Organisation, there are new opportunities and challenges for ACP agricultural exporters. The rapid removal of import levies, duties and fixed import quotas for certain products in the industrialised world means that exporters have to compete in the market place. For this, they need information about the size and accessibility of the market, and the requirements and regulations about quality and packaging. Fortunately there are several information services covering the requirements of importing countries with regard to: Logistical requirements : volumes and sizes of shipments, packaging requirements, shipping and transit storage, health and hygiene standards, and quality control Market intelligence : how to research the market in a country or region, how to contact and develop relationships with importers Finance: how to organise finance and credit while waiting for payment, including export guarantees. In addition to trade offices in the embassies of importing countries, and export finance information at national chambers of commerce, you can contact any of these international and regional bodies. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) exists to promote world trade, to the benefit of developing countries. Their 'Tradepoint' network, contactable through the UNCTAD's head office, has national offices in many countries with broad-ranging information services. The World Trade Organisation (WTO), although it is often host to uncertainty and controversy at the political level (such as on agricultural products, which it will debate in December 1999), has extensive and helpful advisory services for exporters. Linked to the WTO is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (SPS) applied in cooperation with other international bodies, principally the FAO. The SPS seeks to ensure common standards for food safety and animal and plant health. Large markets The world's largest market for agricultural products is the United States of America, and its import requirements are well-documented by the American Association of Exporters & Importers (AAEI). The second largest market is the European Union, whose fifteen Member States apply common import rules. The fact that it is called a 'single market' hides the fact that the Union contains a great variety of markets, with different consumer tastes and demands. The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) advises both exporters, and European importers. It provides market information, matching programmes, promotion advice in marketing, market surveys, trade documentation, and a far-sighted service on the health, social and environmental demands of the market. It also provides connections to import bodies in each EU member state. Many ACP agricultural exports to Europe are in horticulture, a sector well-promoted by COLEACP, an interprofessional association of exporters, importers and other operators from the ACP-EU industry. COLEACP is regarded as one of the success stories in ACP-EU cooperation, with many satisfied clients in the promotion of competitive ACP exports of fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants. It may not last for ever World trade will increasingly be subject to concerns, and perhaps rules, regarding social and environmental issues and a wise exporter will do well to anticipate them. These issues include consumer demand for guarantees about the method of production (such as organic agriculture, absence of child labour, and profit-sharing schemes, often collectively described as 'Fair Trade'), and international demand to reduce energy use in the packaging and shipment of produce, particularly over long distances. Already in Europe there are steps to reduce imports of non-essential products, such as bananas in Norway. And many food packaging plants in ACP countries use heavy materials and technologies that are no longer accepted in the North because of their energy waste. You might think that the world is entering a period of free and frenetic trade. Maybe, but it may not last for long. Several global governance bodies are already preparing for a new wave of restrictions on environmental and energy grounds. A hub in this movement is the United Nations Department for Sustainable Development which can keep you informed, and ahead of most exporters, of forthcoming trends. In the meantime, be informed and trade away. If the big organisations cannot help you promptly and to the extent you want, try this surprising source. The most comprehensive and accessible collection of contact details of import and export agencies all over the world is in the small but enterprising state of El Salvador, in Central America. The Electronic System for Foreign Trade has a trade information service in English and Spanish, open to anybody, by mail or electronic mail. AAE I11 West 42nd Street, 30th floor, New York, NY 10036USA Fax: + 1 212 382 2606 CBI P.O. Box 30009, NL-3001 DA Rotterdam, Netherlands Fax: +31 1041 4081 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.agricta.org/Spore/spore83/www.cbisite.eu.org/index.htm COLEACP 5, rue de la Corderie Centra 342 F - 94586 RUNGIS Fax: + 33 1 41 80 02 19 Email : email@example.com Website: www.coleacp.org Electronic System for Foreign Trade Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador Center for Export Procedures - CENTREX Alameda Juan Pablo Segundo, Entre 15 y 17 Avenida Norte San Salvador, El Salvador, Central America. Fax: +503 2818086 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.elsalvadortrade.com.sv UNCTAD Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 907 00 43 Email: email@example.com Website: www.unctad.org UN DSD Manager for Changing Consumption and Production Patterns Room DC2-2286, United Nations,New York, NY 10017USA Fax: + 1 212 963 4260 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org WTO Rue de Lausanne 154 CH-1211 Geneva 21Switzerland Fax: +41 22 739 54 58 Email: email@example.com Website: www.wto.org