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Trade Profile

In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Austrian economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade, which accounts for 102% of its GDP (World Bank, 2015). Its trade with the countries of the European Union accounts for almost 70% of its total trade, mainly in automobile and component industries. The agriculture is also an important component of Austrian exports.

Germany and Italy are Austria's two main trading partners for both imports and exports. Austria's trade balance is negative. According to the latest available data, the deficit reached EUR 2.9 billion in 2016. Imports increased slightly while exports decreased. However, the Austrian trade balance that includes service industry is positive. The outlook for 2017 is rather optimistic for Austrian exports, particularly thanks to the improvement of the economic situation of several of its trading partners.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20112012201320142015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 191,417178,513183,277182,006155,235
Exports of Goods (million USD) 177,428166,611175,156178,248152,335
Imports of Services (million USD) 44,36344,04450,88453,20745,505
Exports of Services (million USD) 58,56457,26663,88366,63857,947
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.21.10.71.33.4
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.01.70.52.33.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 51.251.250.649.749.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 53.753.853.253.053.1
Trade Balance (million USD) -5,043-4,063-1,3451,3301,675
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 104.8105.0103.8102.7102.1

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) - 2016; World Bank - 2016

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2015
Germany 29.5%
United States 6.6%
Italy 6.1%
Switzerland 5.8%
France 4.4%
Czech Republic 3.5%
Hungary 3.2%
Poland 3.1%
United Kingdom 3.1%
China 2.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2015
Germany 36.3%
Italy 6.0%
China 5.9%
Switzerland 5.8%
Czech Republic 4.2%
United States 3.9%
France 2.7%
Netherlands 2.6%
Hungary 2.6%
Poland 2.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2015

 

Main Products

145.3 bn USD of products exported in 2015
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.3%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.3%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.0%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and modified immunological products, whether or not obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 1.8%
Compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine diesel or semi-diesel engines 1.8%
Spark-ignition reciprocating or rotary internal combustion piston engine 1.3%
Waters, incl. mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured, and other non-alcoholic beverages (excl. fruit or vegetable juices and milk) 1.3%
Base metal mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for furniture, doors, staircases, windows, blinds, coachwork, saddlery, trunks, chests, caskets or the like; base metal hat-racks, hat-pegs, brackets and similar fixtures; castors with mountings of base metal; automatic door closers of base metal 1.2%
Machinery for working rubber or plastics or for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter, parts thereof 1.1%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 1.1%
147.9 bn USD of products imported in 2015
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.4%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 2.3%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.2%
Hormones, prostaglandines, thromboxanes and leukotrienes, natural or reproduced by synthesis; derivatives and structural analogues thereof incl. chain modified polypeptides, used primarily as hormones 2.2%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.1%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.1%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 1.5%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 1.4%
Parts suitable for use solely or principally with internal combustion piston engine of heading 8407 or 8408 1.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2015

 
 
 

Main Services

134.1 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Travel
31.06%
Other business services
26.94%
Transportation
23.49%
Computer and information services
8.39%
Communications services
2.28%
Financial services
1.98%
Royalties and license fees
1.62%
Insurance services
1.40%
Construction services
1.16%
Government services
0.96%
Cultural and recreational services
0.73%
98.9 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Transportation
33.07%
Other business services
23.50%
Travel
21.90%
Computer and information services
7.46%
Royalties and license fees
3.24%
Communications services
2.30%
Cultural and recreational services
2.27%
Insurance services
2.26%
Financial services
1.89%
Construction services
1.85%
Government services
0.26%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Last Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Regime
Austria does not have any exchange controls. There are no limitations on cross-border payments, whether related to foreign trade, capital investments, or other transactions, except to countries under UN or EU sanctions.

However Austria’s ability to introduce controls is restricted by its membership to the European Union.

Level of Currency Instability
Low
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20112012201320142015
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.720.780.750.750.90

Source: The European Central Bank - 2016.

 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
Main International Economic Cooperation
As a member of the European Union, Austria participates in the European Economic Area (EEA). Since Foreign Trade Policy is within the capacity of the EU, Austria has no bilateral free trade agreements. However, as an EU member, Austria participates in all EU trade agreements. See this up-to-date list of the EU trade agreements.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets
Yes

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention
Yes

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Commercial invoice
Custom value declaration
Freight insurance
Custom import declaration (SAD form)
Freight documents
Packing list
Certificate of origin Insurance certificate
VI1 certificate (for wine beverages)
Free Zones
Austria has no foreign trade zones. It has only two customs warehouses in Vienna and Tyrol province, where products of foreign origin may be stored without paying any customs duty.
For Further Information
Hauptzollamt Wien (Central Customs Office, Vienna)
ABA-Invest in Austria  Austrian Business Agency
Non Tariff Barriers
In accordance with its European Union membership, Austria complies with all the European Union rules. While the EU has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, there is a certain number of restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on import and export of farm products, aimed at favoring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory. Moreover, for sanitary reasons, regarding Genetically Modified Organisms (after being allowed in the European territory), their presence should be systematically specified on packaging. Beef cattle bred on hormones is also forbidden to be imported. BSE (often called the "mad cow disease") urged the European Authorities to strengthen the phytosanitary measures to make sure of the quality of meats entering and circulating in the EU territory. The principle of precaution is now more widespread: in case of doubt, the import is prohibited until proof is made of the non-harmfulness of products.

Certain non-tariff barriers also exist in the pharmaceutical, telecom, biotechnology, refrigerant, and legal and accounting services sectors.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
None
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy, as seen by the WTO.
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

Learn more about How to Export to Austria on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Austrian Bureau of Standards
Austrian Electrotechnical Committee
Integration in the International Standards Network
Member of International Organization for Standardization

Member of International Communication Union  

Member of IEC

Member of CEN (European Committee for standardization)

Obligation to Use Standards
About 90% of the standards ON prepares are voluntary. However the quality management standards ISO 9000, though voluntary, have become almost a requirement in many industries.
Classification of Standards
Austrian Standards Plus ( AS+)
Assessment of the System of Standardization
Certification of a product by ON or meeting certification requirements of any other EU country (even if not compulsory) does create a better credibility among Austrian consumers and thus helps in sales promotion.
Online Consultation of Standards
Visit the Austrian Bureau of Standards
Certification Organisations
Austrian Testing Organization (TueV Oesterreich)
Associations of Standards Users
Refer to  ‘Austrian Bureau of Standards’

 

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Last Updates: June 2017