Foreign Trade Barrier

Foreign Trade Barrier

Though there are many different ways that foreign governments can discriminate against the UAE exports and investment, the following are the most common foreign government-imposed trade barriers that the UAE companies encounter abroad:

High or Unfairly Applied Tariffs

Are you facing a tariff barrier?

Is a WTO Member or FTA partner applying a tariff at the border which is higher than it committed to charge on that product?

Classification and Customs Barriers at the Border

Are you facing a tariff classification or customs barrier? Are you experiencing difficulties with a foreign customs office that will not clear your goods to a buyer/importer?

  • Are your goods being classified under the wrong tariff schedule heading?
  • Are you having problems with a foreign customs office’s documentation requirements?
  • Are you having problems with any consularization requirements?
  • Has the valuation of your goods been rejected on the basis of a minimum or reference price?
  • Are the duties charged for your goods higher than what you expected?
  • Are the duties charged for your goods based on an arbitrary or inappropriate valuation by foreign customs?
  • Are you unable to locate an official public source of information for current data and information regarding a country’s customs procedures?

Burdensome Rule of Origin, Certificate of Origin, or Import licensing Requirements

Do you have a problem related to rules of origin requirements?

  • Are you having a problem with burdensome rules of origin certification requirement?
  • Are you having a problem with a burdensome country-of-origin marking requirement?
  • Are you having a problem with an unreasonable qualification for rules of origin status?
  • Is there a requirement for a UAE government certification that does not exist?
  • Are you unable to locate an official public source of information for current data and information regarding a country’s origin requirements?

Technical Barriers to Trade – Unfair Standards, Testing, Labeling, or Certification Requirements

Are you facing a standards-related barrier in an export market?

Is the obstacle related to a government regulation requiring mandatory standards, testing, or certification?

Is the obstacle related to a government regulation requiring mandatory standards, testing, or certification?

Does the barrier entail:

  • a burdensome or unclear new national standard
  • a standard not based on an international standard
  • a burdensome or unclear labelling requirement
  • a vague or unclear process to comply with a standard
  • a factory inspection that is difficult to obtain
  • a national quality mark that is unclear or difficult to meet
  • a burdensome or unclear testing or certification requirement
  • a burdensome or unclear product registration requirement
  • a standard or testing requirement that applies only to foreign companies
  • a duplicative or redundant testing or certification requirement
  • an unreasonable time frame to comply with the standard or testing requirement
  • a regulation developed in a non-transparent manner
  • a regulation developed without consideration of available scientific and technical information
  • unnecessary or unreasonable administrative costs

Unfair Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) – Animal and Plant Welfare – Measures

Are you facing sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade?

  • Do you face a sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) barrier to trade which has kept your food or agricultural product out of a specific export market?
  • an SPS measure developed in a non-transparent manner
  • an SPS measure–including requirements, testing and certification–addressing food safety, animal health or plant health, which is not based on science
  • an SPS measure not based on an international standard (Codex, OIE, IPPC)
  • an SPS requirement that applies only to foreign companies
  • a vague or unclear process to comply with an SPS measure
  • an unreasonable time frame to comply with the SPS measure or testing requirement

Discrimination in Government Procurement

Do you have a problem related to foreign government procurement?

Are you prohibited from bidding on foreign government contracts?

Are you facing discriminatory treatment in foreign government procurements?

Are there inappropriate technical requirements in bid documents that exclude your goods or services?

Are there mandatory domestic content requirements or price preferences in foreign government tenders?

Are there bid deadlines that are too short to prepare and submit proposals?

Are there restrictions that prohibit you from applying to be on a qualified suppliers list?

Are there problems with procedures to challenge the winning bid; do you have problems getting these procedures?

Are there contract liabilities and guarantees that are too costly and keep your company from competing for foreign government contracts?

Intellectual Property Rights Protection Problems

Do you have an intellectual property rights problem?

  • Are your intellectual property rights being violated in a foreign market?
  • Have you registered your intellectual property (copyright, patent, trademark, etc.) in the foreign market where the violation is occurring?
  • Are counterfeit or pirated products which violate your intellectual property rights being sold in the UAE or in another country?
  • Have you registered your patent or trademark with the UAE Patent and Trademark Office?
  • Have you registered your copyright with the UAE Copyright Office?
  • Have you recorded your UAE trademarks or UAE copyrights with UAE Customs?
  • Are you unable to register the patent, trademark, or copyright with a foreign government? Are similar trademarks, patents, or copyrights registered in that country?
  • Have you trusted a foreign government with your intellectual property and has it passed your business confidential information, technology, or trade secrets on to a local company without your permission? Is the local company now your main competitor?
  • Is a foreign government not helping your agent, distributor, or wholly-owned subsidiary to stop a violation of your trademark, patent or copyright’s violation?
  • Is your patent, trademark, or copyright being used illegally in a foreign market?
  • Is your patent, trademark, or copyright protected under international law (the World Trade Organization’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property – TRIPs, the Berne Convention, or the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO)?
  • Is your trademark considered a famous mark?
  • Do you have documentation or other proof of the patent, trademark, or copyright violation?
  • Are you unable to register the patent, trademark, or copyright with a foreign government? Are similar trademarks, patents, or copyrights registered in that country?
  • Have you trusted a foreign government with your intellectual property and has it passed your business confidential information, technology, or trade secrets on to a local company without your permission? Is the local company now your main competitor?
  • Is a foreign government not helping your agent, distributor, or wholly-owned subsidiary to stop your trademark, patent or copyright’s violation?

Excessive or Unfair Government Requirements Related to Investment or Taxation

Are you facing excessive government requirements or other market access barriers to trade?

  • Are you experiencing difficulties exporting because of subsidized local products? Is the foreign market dominated by a domestic company or controlled by monopolistic business practices?
  • Is the country restricting your product based upon the percentage of foreign-origin content or of foreign ownership of the supplier or service provider?
  • Is your product facing overly limiting or unreasonable shelf life restrictions in the foreign market?
  • Does a foreign country prohibit the importation of used or re-manufactured goods?
  • Is your ability to export affected by the way your goods are classified in a foreign market?
  • Are your foreign wholesalers, retailers, or customers having difficulty obtaining certifications, licenses, or other necessary approvals to sell/use your product in other countries?
  • Is a foreign country asking for your company to disclose proprietary product information before allowing your product to be imported or approved for sale?
  • Have customs duties on your product increased in a country?
  • Do you suffer from higher customs duties in a foreign market than your competitors? Are your exporting problems a result of the trade agreement benefits shared by other countries?
  • Are you encountering a problem with a State-owned or controlled enterprise?

Import licensing

Do you have a problem related to import licensing?

  • Are there unreasonable fees associated with obtaining an import license?
  • Is there an overly burdensome process for obtaining an import license?
  • Are you having problems learning where/how to obtain an import license?
  • Is the purpose for an import license unclear?
  • Are there long delays in receiving approval for an import license?

Barriers to Services Provision

Are you facing barriers to trade in services (GATS)?

  • Are all relevant measures (including new and existing laws, regulations, rules, procedures, decisions and administration actions) pertaining to or affecting trade in your company’s services published or made readily accessible?
  • Do you find registration requirements, licensing procedures, qualification requirements and procedures, and technical standards in a foreign market more burdensome for your company than for domestic service providers?
  • Are foreign laws administered in a reasonable and impartial manner? Do they discriminate against you as opposed to third party Foreign Service providers?
  • Has your company faced:
  • Quotas (direct access to labour)
  • Limitations on foreign capital participation
  • Limitations on the size or location of your establishment
  • Do you face restrictions in establishing or expanding a commercial presence (e.g., joint venture, branch, affiliate, representative office) to provide your service in a foreign market?
  • Do you experience foreign ownership limitations or limits on the number of company directors or managers in providing your service in overseas markets?
  • Do you face citizenship, nationality or residency requirements in providing your service in a foreign market?
  • Does your company experience limitations or restrictions on the temporary entry/mobility of key business personnel (including executives, managers and other skilled intercorporate transferees) in your business operations in foreign markets?

Discriminatory Competition Laws or Unfair Competition from State-Owned Enterprises

Are you facing barriers in Competition Laws?

  • Are you facing a trade barrier due to the application of competition laws in a foreign country?
  • Are you concerned about receiving fair treatment in anti-trust proceedings?
  • Are the competition laws and procedures you are facing transparent?

f unsure whether you’re facing a foreign trade barrier, ask yourself these questions.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be facing an unfair trade barrier. Contact us today to report it so that WORLDDEAL CONSULTING can provide you with support and begin working with you to remove the unfair treatment and restore your access to the market.

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