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IP/05/142

Brussels, 4 February 2005

EU launches new export help service for developing countries

The EU today launched an improved and multilingual version of its on-line Expanding Exports Helpdesk, intended to help developing country producers seeking to export to EU markets. The new Expanding Exports Helpdesk service includes new on-line features and key services are now available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. There is a new ‘Market Place’ service to facilitate deals between traders and an enlarged database of trade statistics. Work on the second phase of the system, which will widen the range of information to cover product specific import requirements and internal taxation in the Member States is continuing, and should be completed during the first half of 2005.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said: “This is another concrete measure to help developing countries export to the EU. The EU is commited to taking these kinds of practical steps, in a world where non-tariff barriers are really the main remaining barrier to our markets for the poorest countries. I am glad to say that there are even more new features on this Helpdesk to come during 2005.”

The service can be accessed at

http://export-help.ec.europa.eu

Background

The on-line Expanding Exports Helpdesk launched by the European Commission in February 2004 has been designed as a service for developing countries’ exporters to more easily access the EU market. Since its launch, the on-line Expanding Exports Helpdesk has been consulted over 484,000 times, with an average of more than 1,450 queries per day. The contact mailbox has been used intensively and over 890 detailed information requests have been dealt with by the Commission. Feedback received from database users has been used as a basis for the design of the new features.

From today new features are available on-line to make the helpdesk more useful for exporters from developing countries. These include a multilingual version (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) of several features; trade statistics for EU25; new ‘Market Place’ and ‘Contact’ sections; as well as more developed information covering all types of import measures, including tariff quotas, quantitative restrictions, import surveillance measures, entry/reference prices, anti-dumping measures and special GSP schemes.

Database users can now obtain a much more comprehensive picture of the measures applicable, including direct access to the relevant legislation in the EU Official Journal.

The range of information which the Helpdesk can provide will be further enlarged during the first half of the year and will include:

  • EU and Member States’ specific technical and sanitary requirements such as marking, labelling and health requirements.
  • information on internal taxes such as VAT and excise duties applicable in the individual Member States.

Users of the helpdesk are invited to make suggestions as to further information which they consider could be usefully added to the helpdesk to better serve their needs (email address: export-help@ec.europa.eu).

For more information go to

http://export-help.ec.europa.eu


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