Click here to read Rabobank's economic vision for this country. The information and publications in this tab are prepared and made available by third parties and are only available in English. No rights can be derived. Rabobank is not responsible or liable for the information and publications. Click here for the full disclaimer.

Trade Profile

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

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Italy is the 10th largest exporter and 11th largest importer worldwide, with trade making up nearly 57% of its GDP (2016). Manufactured goods represent more than 90% of the country’s exports.

Since the sovereign debt crisis in 2010 and after several years of registering a trade deficit, Italy has changed direction. In 2015, the country's spectacular foreign trade recovery continued, with the trade balance reaching a record level of EUR 45 billion. In 2016, the trade surplus reached EUR 51.6 billion, the highest in the last 25 years. Exports grew by 1.1% in value while imports decreased by 1.4% compared to 2015. (Istat)

Italy's main trade partners include the European Union (specifically, Germany, France and the United Kingdom), the United States and Switzerland.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 488,600479,447474,193408,932404,445
Exports of Goods (million USD) 501,306518,268529,899459,068461,524
Imports of Services (million USD) 106,426108,415113,65999,260103,990
Exports of Services (million USD) 107,065110,628114,11698,553101,402
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -8.1-2.43.26.82.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.30.72.74.42.4
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 27.626.626.527.126.5
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 28.628.929.330.030.0
Trade Balance (million USD) 21,44348,00062,52556,16067,152
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 56.255.555.857.156.5

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

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2016
Germany 12.6%
France 10.5%
United States 8.9%
United Kingdom 5.4%
Spain 5.0%
Switzerland 4.6%
Belgium 3.2%
Poland 2.7%
China 2.7%
Netherlands 2.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2016
Germany 16.3%
France 8.9%
China 7.5%
Netherlands 5.5%
Spain 5.3%
Belgium 4.9%
United States 3.8%
United Kingdom 3.0%
Russia 2.9%
Switzerland 2.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 

Main Products

461.5 bn USD of products exported in 2016
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) 3.6%
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. 2.7%
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 2.3%
Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather (excl. orthopaedic footwear, skating boots with ice or roller skates attached, and toy footwear) 1.6%
Taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances for pipes, boiler shells, tanks, vats or the like, incl. pressure-reducing valves and thermostatically controlled valves; parts thereof 1.6%
Furniture and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. seats and medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture) 1.5%
Trunks, suit-cases, vanity-cases, executive-cases, brief-cases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; travelling-bags, insulated food or beverage bags, toilet bags, rucksacks, handbags, shopping-bags, wallets, purses, map-cases, cigarette-cases, tobacco-pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle-cases, jewellery boxes, powder-boxes, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanised fibre or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper 1.4%
Wine of fresh grapes, incl. fortified wines; grape must, partly fermented and of an actual alcoholic strength of > 0,5% vol or grape must with added alcohol of an actual alcoholic strength of > 0,5% vol 1.3%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (excl. articles > 100 years old) 1.3%
404.6 bn USD of products imported in 2016
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) 6.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.7%
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) 3.6%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.1%
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. 1.9%
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 1.5%
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. 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 1.3%
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 1.2%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 0.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 
 
 

Main Services

198.5 bn USD of services exported in 2013
Travel
45.95%
Other business services
29.30%
Transportation
15.55%
Royalties and license fees
4.12%
Insurance services
2.30%
Government services
1.39%
Communications services
0.60%
Construction services
0.60%
Cultural and recreational services
0.18%
188.7 bn USD of services imported in 2013
Travel
29.69%
Other business services
28.85%
Transportation
28.00%
Royalties and license fees
5.63%
Insurance services
3.98%
Government services
2.62%
Cultural and recreational services
0.56%
Communications services
0.55%
Construction services
0.12%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange regime.
Level of Currency Instability
Very limited exchange risk since the euro is a major currency.
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20122013201420152016
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.810.780.780.940.94

Source: The European Central 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
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
Member of the European Union, member of the Eurozone and member of the European Economic Area.

Multilateral and bilateral agreements with many countries (Italy is not part of all the agreements to which the EU is a signatory)

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
Goods coming into one of the 27 countries of the European Union from another country in the Community are exempt from Customs duties and Customs formalities.
The documents which must accompany goods moving between EU countries are the following: :
- the commercial invoice
- the certificate of origin
- the health certificate (only necessary, in the case of trade inside the Community, for live animals)
- the single administrative document (SAD) (required for trade with overseas Departments, the Channel Islands and the Canaries).

For a transaction outside the Community, you must add:
- Import licenses
- Certifications
- Single Customs Document (SAD)
Free Zones
Trieste,Venice.

Trieste is the main free trade zone in Italy. Here, goods can stay 180 days without customs duties. Venice is another free trade zone but is restructuring. There is legislation to create free trade zones in Naples and Genoa but it hasn't been carried out.

For Further Information
Italian Customs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of the Economy
Ministry of Economic Development
Non Tariff Barriers
As it is a member of the European Union, Italy applies any and all Community regulations which are valid throughout the Union.

If the EU has quite a liberal foreign trade policy, there are a certain number of restrictions, especially at the level of agricultural products, ensuing from the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): applying compensations when importing and exporting agricultural products to favor the development of agriculture within the EU implies a certain number of systems to control and regulate goods entering EU territory.
Moreover, for sanitary reasons, with regards to Genetically Modified Organisms, if they are allowed in Europe, their presence must, for example, be systematically specified on packaging. Importing beef fed on hormones is also prohibited.
The principle of precaution is now more widely favored: in case of doubt, import is prohibited until the non- noxiousness of the goods is proved.

Goods containing animal products require a certificate from a competent authority in the country of origin. Fishery products need to show a catch certificate.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Wine, pasta, vegetables and fruit, fresh or processed.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Webpages of the WTO on Italy
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States
Information on agricultural trade barriers
Customs and Taxation Union Directorate (TAXUD), Site of the European Commission about the Customs and Taxation Union Directorate
Electronic Customs Initiative, Site of the European Commission about the Electronic Customs Initiative

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

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Italian Standardisation Organisation (Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione, UNI)
Italian Electrotechnical Committee (CEI)
Integration in the International Standards Network
International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)
European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC)
Obligation to Use Standards
Yes
Classification of Standards
Italian standards are called UNI, but those of the electrotechnical sector are called CEI.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
The standardization system is respected and guarantees better sales. Consumers have more and more regard for standards.

Regarding EU regulation, manufactures must fulfill conformity assessment conditions.

Online Consultation of Standards
The UNI catalog
The CEI catalog
The ISO catalog
Certification Organisations
Association of Independent Test and Certification Laboratories (ALPI)
Italian Accreditation Body (Accredia)

 

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Last Updates: November 2017