On Monday, March 15 2021, hub.brussels and the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency (BFTA) organised a webinar presenting the study carried out by the BFTA on the foregone duty savings of 30 EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) by Belgian companies. The study provides the three Belgian Trade Promotion Organisations with relevant information to better focus their services to SMEs to ensure optimal use of the opportunities offered by the FTAs.
The study showed that in 2019 unnecessary import duties worth € 132 million were still being paid in 30 countries. Most progress could be made in Belgian exports to Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, mainly in the chemical - and food sectors. Reasons for not utilising the reduced tariffs are lack of information, lack of interest from the importer, fear of additional checks at the border, or perceived difficulty in obtaining a certificate of origin.
The European Commission considers this a best practice for other Member States.
To see the study, click here.