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New Tool Launched To Inform SMEs Of Countries' Trade, Tax Rules

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

12 December 2017


On December 11, 2017, the World Trade Organization, the International Trade Centre, and the UN Conference on Trade and Development launched a new tool to help businesses, and in particular smaller firms, to navigate countries' cross-border trade rules and taxes on trade.

Launched at the WTO's 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Global Trade Helpdesk is a multi-agency initiative to tackle the information gap for traders, with a new Global Trade Helpdesk, accessible through HelpMeTrade.org, intended to be a one-stop shop for businesses and policymakers to access trade data and practical information on target markets.

For companies looking at potential export markets, the Helpdesk, which is still in a beta version, provides data on applicable tariffs and taxes; relevant health and safety standards and compliance procedures; details about export and import procedures, such as pre-shipment formalities; and current trade patterns and trade agreements. Data will be added to the Helpdesk over a three-year period, the WTO said, and complemented with business information such as buyer and seller contacts as well as trade fair dates and locations.

"For a small business, easy access to the right information can make the world of difference," said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo. "With it, you can trade with the global marketplace. Without it, the challenges and costs of trading can be too high. This new Helpdesk will provide all the information you need in one place, free of charge, accessible to all. It promises to be a big step forward in making trade more inclusive. That's something for us all to celebrate."

TAGS: compliance | tax | small business | business | value added tax (VAT) | export duty | law | tariffs | agreements | import duty | standards | trade | Argentina

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