The Foreign Trade Administration (FTA) at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry manages and supports Israel’s international trade and trade policy. From our headquarters in Jerusalem together with 50 economic and trade missions in key financial centers throughout the world, the FTA promotes Israel’s economy worldwide.
Israel’s economic and trade missions are at the forefront of the Israeli government’s efforts to advance our industries in foreign markets. Our team of highly experienced economic representatives provide a wide range of services to Israeli companies and to the international business community.
The FTA is divided into four main divisions, each promoting the Israeli economy in distinct and significant ways:
- The Export Promotion Division – works to ensure the continued development of Israel’s exports.
- Trade Agreements and Trade Policy Division - responsible for Israel’s free trade agreements, maintaining and developing inter-governmental relations and addressing regulatory barriers that affect Israeli industry.
- The International Marketing Programs Division – offers support programs designed to assist companies in their international marketing activities promoting their growth and diversified export.
- The Export Control Agency – regulates export control of dual-use goods, technologies and services.
The Export Promotion Division
The Division is responsible for promoting the export and operating the representative offices abroad. For that purpose, it is divided into geographic desks which operate a network of professional commercial attachés around the world. The geographic desks include the following areas: Europe (1+2), Americas, Asia-Pacific, China, India Africa and the Middle East.
The activities include, among other things, the following:
- Operating the economic missions around the world.
- Promoting the economic and trade relations with the countries under its responsibility.
- Organizing and handling business and governmental delegations to the country and from it.
- Issuing public materials for distribution abroad, for presenting the economic-industrial potential of Israel.
- Preparing regional and sectorial surveys for the use of the exporters.
- Conducting seminars and meetings with businessmen in Israel and abroad.
- Participating in commercial exhibitions of the field around the world.
Trade Agreements and Trade Policy Division
The Trade Agreements and Trade Policy Division at the Foreign Trade Administration is responsible for initiation, promotion and negotiation of free trade agreements – agreements aimed at simplifying trade between countries by lowering customs duties, and removing regulatory barriers. The Division is also responsible for maintenance of existing free trade agreements, including through meetings of joint committees and ongoing intergovernmental relations, regarding various issues that may affect bilateral trade and the resolution of trade barriers. In addition, the Division is responsible for representing Israel in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and for activities of the Ministry of Economy and Industry in the OECD.
The Division also offers the following services for Companies:
- Receipt of information on Israel’s Free Trade Area Agreements, including clarification of custom duty rates and rules of origin.
- Providing information and assistance in resolving regulatory difficulties or barriers to trade that exporters encounter in specific countries.
- Requests for customs benefits on export or import as part of negotiations on trade agreements.
- Receipt of information on policies and obligations in the field of trade in services and e-commerce.
- Receipt of information on World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, including the GPA Agreement – Government Procurement Agreement – the rights and obligations derived from it both in tenders in Israel and in tenders abroad.
- Receipt of information on ways to deal with the new challenges of corporate social responsibility.
For any questions regarding trade agreements and other trade policy issues, you can send an inquiry to the division via e-mail, at: IsraelFTAs@Economy.gov.il
International Marketing Programs Division
The Division operates support programs designed to assist companies expand their International activities. Focused mainly on SMEs, its main goal is to encourage companies to engage in international marketing efforts and scale up their export activities.
Smart Money Program: provides support for companies marketing efforts for one new market or for making a strategic shift in its marketing operation in an existing market. Basic requirements: Min. export of NIS 1 million per year, not more than NIS 200 million turnover per year.
SHALAV – A gate for International Marketing: Support for companies on their first steps of export, focusing on 2 markets max. Basic Requirements: Min. NIS 500K turnover per year or NIS 2 million investments in the preceding 3 years. Not more than NIS 1 million export per year.
Both programs introduce a preferential treatment for companies owned by minorities in Israel (Muslims, Druze, Bedouins, Christians and Circassians), offering higher percentage support rate and easier access to the programs. Every year around 10% of the budget is allocated to companies owned by minorities.
In addition, the programs offer easier access for companies located in peripheral areas of the country, women entrepreneurs and companies that employ above a minimum threshold of certain groups in Israeli society (ultra-orthodox, people with disabilities, single mothers, minorities).
Export Control Agency, Ministry of Economy and Industry
Dual-use items are goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications.
The dual use, nuclear, chemical and biological export control regime aims to prevent proliferation of weapons for mass destruction (WMD) and other sensitive technologies, products, materials and services that might be used in way that undermines regional and international security and stability.
As the competent authority the Export Control Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Industry applies controls over duel use, nuclear, chemical and biological exports, to promote responsible transfers of these items, applying a broad national security approach.
The Export Control Agency aims to work closely and collaboratively both with other Israeli government entities as well as with the private sector, in its development, implementation and enforcement of export control regulations.
Who needs an export license?
Any person engaged in exporting an item, technology or service listed in the Israeli dual use lists and / or the nuclear, chemical and biological lists as they are published on the Ministry of Economy and Industry’s web site (hereinafter: “the lists”) is required by law to apply for a license from the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
The law requires the exporter to classify the item based on the lists. To the extent that the item is controlled under these lists the exporter it is required to hold a valid export license, otherwise the exporter will be subject to sanctions under the laws of the State of Israel (civilian and criminal).
Good to know…
Re-export (export of a controlled item that was previously imported to Israel) may require a re-export license from the foreign country on top of a requirement of an Israeli export license.
Contact us: DU@economy.gov.il