Trade barriers

Trade barriers refer to such regulations and measures of authorities that cause unreasonable problems to the trade of products or services. Problems related to establishing a business and the free movement of employees and people can also be interpreted as trade barriers.

Various restrictions on investments can also be counted among trade barriers. Loss of business opportunities is the most serious impact of a trade barrier, but even their minor effects may require extra time and cause additional expenses. Official regulations in another EU/ETA country that have been generally identified as cultural customs of the country in question may have in fact been a misinterpretation of common EU regulations.

Other examples of trade barriers include the following:

  • various standards and technical regulations inspection, testing or certification requirements
  • import licensing, import quotas, import bans
  • high or discriminating export or import customs duties
  • discriminatory taxation practices, VAT refunds
  • violation of intellectual property rights (IPR)
  • foreign exchange regulations, regulations on repatriation of profits
  • discriminatory rules of public procurement and domestic content requirements
  • investment restrictions
  • customs procedures, special border documentation requirements
  • deficient compliance with legislation in force

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, together with other competent authorities, is responsible for procedures that aim to solve trade barriers encountered by enterprises. The Ministry receives notifications from enterprises and other parties in Finland and other EU member states.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for trade barriers encountered in countries outside the EU. Each problem notified to us will undergo an in-depth analysis. We determine the proper way of action in each trade barrier case depending on the nature of the problem and wishes of the notifier. There are several efficient and quick operational alternatives, and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Further information: akseli.koskela(at)