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Trade Profile

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

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Israeli economy is very open. Trade represents 57% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2016) and exports, the backbone of the country's growth, represents about one-quarter of the country's GDP. Israel’s balance of trade is structurally negative (with the exception of the record 2009 surplus). In 2016, the deficit reached USD 13.1 billion, a 65% increase compared to 2015. Imports increased by 4.8% compared to 2015 whilst exports (including high-tech products) fell by 4.1%.

Israel's main suppliers and customers are the European Union, the United States, Turkey, Hong-Kong, Switzerland, India and China. The main goods imported by Israel include raw materials and semi-finished products, hydrocarbons, consumption goods (food products and drinks, electrical equipment, transport equipment, etc.) and investment products. The main national exports include manufactured goods, mainly high-tech products (computer equipment, electronic components, aeronautics, electronic communication equipment, verification products and pharmaceutical products).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 75,39274,86175,48364,81368,835
Exports of Goods (million USD) 63,14166,78168,68663,67360,160
Imports of Services (million USD) 20,50420,55922,22522,12023,782
Exports of Services (million USD) 32,88434,46335,35834,45238,899
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.1-0.33.8-0.59.4
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -1.93.61.4-4.33.0
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 35.931.130.427.727.5
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 36.133.432.230.729.8
Trade Balance (million USD) -9,022-7,125-6,728-3,392-7,566
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 72.164.562.658.457.3

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) - 2017; World Bank - 2017

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2016
United States 29.1%
Hong Kong 7.3%
United Kingdom 6.5%
China 5.5%
Belgium 4.1%
India 4.0%
Netherlands 3.5%
Germany 2.5%
Switzerland 2.4%
France 2.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2016
United States 12.3%
China 9.0%
Switzerland 6.5%
Germany 6.2%
Belgium 5.9%
United Kingdom 5.6%
Netherlands 4.1%
Italy 4.1%
Turkey 4.0%
Japan 3.6%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 

Main Products

60.6 bn USD of products exported in 2016
Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted or set (excl. unmounted stones for pick-up styluses, worked stones, suitable for use as parts of meters, measuring instruments or other articles of chapter 90) 25.9%
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) 6.4%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 5.7%
Medicaments consisting of two or more constituents mixed together for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, not in measured doses or put up for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.1%
Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801 or 8802, n.e.s. 4.0%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 2.6%
Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, incl. scintigraphic apparatus, other electro-medical apparatus and sight-testing instruments, n.e.s. 2.6%
Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof 2.1%
Prepared binders for foundry moulds or cores; chemical products and preparations for the chemical or allied industries, incl. mixtures of natural products, n.e.s. 1.6%
Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant-growth regulators, disinfectants and similar products, put up for retail sale or as preparations or articles, e.g. sulphur-treated bands, wicks and candles, and fly-papers 1.6%
65.8 bn USD of products imported in 2016
Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted or set (excl. unmounted stones for pick-up styluses, worked stones, suitable for use as parts of meters, measuring instruments or other articles of chapter 90) 10.9%
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) 7.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.0%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 4.2%
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 2.6%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.2%
Machine-tools for working any material by removal of material, by laser or other light or photon beam, ultrasonic, electro-discharge, electro-chemical, electron beam, ionic-beam or plasma arc processes (excl. cleaning apparatus operated by ultrasonic processes, soldering and welding machines, incl. those which can be used for cutting, and material testing machines) 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) 2.0%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.4%
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%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 
 
 

Main Services

102.8 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Computer and information services
36.19%
Other business services
26.78%
Travel
16.62%
Transportation
12.72%
Construction services
3.82%
Royalties and license fees
3.36%
Cultural and recreational services
0.38%
Insurance services
0.08%
Government services
0.05%
64.8 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Other business services
38.32%
Transportation
30.08%
Travel
19.62%
Royalties and license fees
4.34%
Computer and information services
2.75%
Insurance services
2.58%
Government services
1.36%
Construction services
0.77%
Cultural and recreational services
0.20%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Israeli New Sheqel. (ILS)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange regime.
No exchange control in Israel. Capital and profits can be freely repatriated under reserve of obtaining an authorization from the Bank of Israel.
Level of Currency Instability
Reducing exchange risks.
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20122013201420152016
Israeli New Sheqel. (ILS) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 3.863.613.583.893.84

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
 

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
Main International Economic Cooperation
Israel has signed free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, Egypt and Mercosur. A customs union has existed between Israel and the Palestinian territories since 1994.
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
The goods shipped into Israel should be accompanied by the following documents :
- Single administrative document
- Commercial invoice(made out in 3 copies in English,)
- a phytosanitary certificate (for fruits, pulses, seeds and other vegetables)
- a health certificate and a radioactivity non-contamination certificate (for meats)
- EUR1 form(to benefit from preferential tariff applicable to imports originating from the European Union)
- a Kosher certificate (for food products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics or cleaning products)
- an Age certificate (for old wines)
- a free sale certificate (for cosmetics)
- transport documents and packing list
Free Zones
Eilat
Israel and Jordan have already set up two QIZ : Gateway and Irbid.
For Further Information
Customs Office
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Non Tariff Barriers
Most products can be imported freely in Israel, with the exception of certain agricultural products, which must comply to strict health rules, and respect kosher customs for food.

Documentation requirements to import these products are significant, notably for the invoice (which has to be provided in three copies). These requirements are defined by the Ministry of Health.

Finally, it is to be noted that imports from countries, which restrict or prohibit imports originating from Israel are subjected to special monitoring.

Assessment of Commercial Policy
The WTO pages dedicated to Israel
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the European Union
Sanitary and Phytosanitary barriers, according to the European Union

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

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
The Standards Institution of Israel (SII)
Integration in the International Standards Network
Obligation to Use Standards
Conformity to standards is obligatory.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
The sole authority for conformity assessment in Israel is the SII.
Online Consultation of Standards
The Standards Institution of Israel (SII)
ISO Catalogue
Certification Organisations
The Standards Institution of Israel
Associations of Standards Users
Israeli Company of Standards Users (ISUS)

 

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Last Updates: November 2017