Import policy and facilitation of imports from developing countries
In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, import policy and especially the facilitation of import from developing countries are based on the Government's Development Policy Programme (2007) and Finland's Trade Policy Programme (2005). These programmes advocate facilitation of import from developing countries as an essential means to reach the following objectives:
- developing countries' integration into the international trading system and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
- better availability and wider range of import goods, and provision of competitive production inputs for companies' use.
Finland's development and trade policy goals thus converge in the import policy.
In order to reach these objectives, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs established a new function in autumn 2006, which involves general import policy guidelines, especially issues related to facilitation of import from developing countries, and barriers to trade concerning products and services originating from developing countries.
The conduct of effective and successful import policy calls for cooperation with representatives of the business community, interest groups and NGOs. Anyone who has encountered import barriers or needs further information can contact the public servant responsible for the matter either directly or using the Report Trade Barriers form. The service covers all countries and the same contact information can be used to inform about barriers to export trade.
Prompt response to questions concerning import can also be obtained from the online Export HelpDesk service maintained by the European Commission, which deals with, among other things, import tariffs, rules of origin, and taxes and other legal requirements.