Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy has reminded businesses of the Access2Markets online portal to assist small and medium businesses grow their trade beyond the EU’s borders.

Launched by the European Commission in October, the Access2Markets online portal is a one-stop-shop for small and medium businesses looking to understand EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and navigate the world of international trade.

The portal is freely available to all businesses, those already exporting and those looking to expand into international markets – including, of course, agri-food and agri-business exports.

Minister Troy stated: “2021 is the year we make Trade Promotion a priority because as a small open economy, trade and its promotion are key.

Therefore, diversifying our export markets has never been more important. The EU has a large network of trade agreements with over 70 countries and regions and is currently negotiating a raft of new deals.

“Access2Markets breaks this complex set of international trade agreements into practical information so exporters can access relevant information on tariffs, taxes, rules of origin, product requirements, customs procedures and trade barriers more easily.

“The portal will also be of assistance to companies who wish to learn more about the trading rules which are now in place when exporting goods to the UK.”

Every product traded internationally has a code that determines what import duties and national or local taxes need to be paid.

On Access2Markets, businesses can find not only the code but also what duties they need to pay in each jurisdiction.

The portal’s My Trade Assistant tool enables businesses to look up information on duties, taxes, product rules and requirements on a product-by-product basis for each market.

The Rules of Origin Self-Assessment (ROSA) tool is a free interactive tool developed by the European Commission, which is also accessible on the Access2Markets portal.

Minister Troy, in encouraging Irish exporters who wish to grow their exports in markets beyond the EU to become familiar with the portal, concluded:

“The government has committed to providing significant financial resources to help companies navigate the post-Brexit landscape and to continue to overcome the challenges posed to their businesses by Covid-19.

The Access2Markets online portal is another tool, freely available to all businesses, to help them make the most of the EU’s network of international trade agreements and get the best access to the markets, products and inputs they need to grow and stay competitive.

“I would encourage Irish exporting companies who wish to grow their exports to become familiar with this platform and take advantage of the network of countries with which the EU has negotiated Free Trade Agreements.”