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Inform us of barriers to trade and investment

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs offers companies services that help to eliminate barriers to trade. Ongoing dialogue with the private sector is vital for effective removal of trade barriers.

Trade barriers include all measures by the public authorities or the private sector that restrict market access of goods.

Examples of barriers to trade:

  • high customs tariffs
  • import, export, or customs formalities that are ineffective or result in unnecessary expenses
  • technical regulations that discriminate against foreign companies or products
  • insufficient protection of industrial property rights and copyrights
  • lack of transparent regulations

 How to identify barriers to trade

Trade barriers are easiest to remove when they are connected to the infringement of some international obligation, such as WTO rules or rules agreed upon in bilateral free trade agreements.

 In the case of investments, the problem can be addressed the most effectively in cases where Finland has an agreement on promoting and protecting investments with the country in question.

The following questions, based on the basic principles determined in international agreements on trade policies, can be used for identifying barriers to trade.

Non-discrimination

Are the measures non-discriminatory in how they treat foreign and domestic products, investments and actors?

Proportionality

Are the measures implemented by using the least trade-restrictive means, taking into account the underlying policy objectives? Could the same objectives be achieved by less trade-restrictive means?

Conformity with international practices

Are the basic principles and the implementation of the measures in agreement with the general practices of international trade? Do the measures substantially differ from existing international standards?

Prohibition against quantitative restrictions

Are quantitative restrictions or bans on exports or imports applied to the import or export of goods?

Free transfer of funds

Can investments and investment-related funds be freely transferred from country to country?

Transparency

Have the details of and instructions for the measures been published clearly and in good time, so that the private sector has had time to adapt to them?

Reporting barriers to trade

Trade barriers can be reported via email: tradebarrier(a)formin.fi; or by phone: +358-29-535 1133. All reports are confidential and no further action will be taken without your consent.

For more information

In Finland the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy are responsible for questions concerning trade barriers.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Department for External Economic Relations, Market Access Unit
Tel: +358-29-535 1133
PO Box 413, 00023 Government, Finland
tradebarrier(a)formin.fi

Internal market barriers in the EU and the EEA

Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Labour and Trade Department, Internal Market Policy and Business Law (SOLVIT)
Tel: +358-9-29 506 4971
PO Box 32, 00023 Government, Finland
solvit(a)tem.fi

 pdfFinal report: Internationalisation and barriers

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