In the first two weeks of 2016, Ukrainian exporters were the most active users of the EU Export Helpdesk, an online support service for exporters. The number of Ukrainian visitors to the site reached almost 900 during this period, while, over the same time, only around 250 users from the USA visited the Helpdesk.
This upsurge in usage among Ukrainian exporters coincides with the provisional application of the Association Agreement with the EU. As of January 1, 2016, the Agreement’s provisions came into effect, including the establishment of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. On the other hand, Ukrainian exporters have had access to this service since April 2014, when the EU granted Ukraine autonomous trade preferences, abolishing or reducing import duties to the EU. So why the sudden rise in interest?
“I think there is a psychological factor,” says Oleg Miroshnychenko, author of a book for exporters titled, “The Internationalisation of Business and Access to EU Markets.” “In reality, Ukrainian exporters haven’t felt the difference in the EU export duties since January 1. But they understand that they are now operating in a new trade reality. The autonomous preferences regime was temporary; this new situation is permanent. On the one hand, nothing has really changed in the economy of Ukrainian export to the EU, but the increased interest in the EU export support service makes sense.”
The EU Export Helpdesk is the European Union’s most important tool to assist exporters outside the EU. Visitors to the website can easily find a huge amount of useful information. For instance, the site contains the rules and provisions applied to products manufactured outside the EU (in Ukraine in particular), duty rates, and other export requirements (ecological and technical requirements, market standards, marking rules). The Export Helpdesk also highlights potentially beneficial treaties and discounts for export products, and guides visitors on how to benefit from them, and provides trade statistics for products imported to the EU. The website is currently available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Exporters can learn about the EU export duties and other requirements for a particular type of product in the My export section of the website by entering the product code, exporting country (Ukraine) and importing EU country. The image below shows an example using export of coats and jackets to Poland.
In the Statistics section of the website, users can access statistics on the supply of such products to the EU.
Infographics below illustrates the algorithm using the service/
Take a look at this tutorial video to learn more about using the EU Export Helpdesk.