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Trade Profile

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

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Poland is open to international trade, which represents 101% of the GDP (World Bank, 2016). The geographical location of Poland gives it a strategic importance. Poland is in fact situated halfway between Paris and Moscow and between Stockholm and Budapest, and it has important ports that are connected to the North Sea through the Baltic Sea. In addition, the country constitutes an excellent place for the export of merchandise to the former Soviet republics.

Since Poland became a member of the European Union, its exports have increased by more than 30%, in particular towards Russia. The country has a structurally negative trade balance, which further deteriorated due to the slowing down of the global economy and the Eurozone crisis. However, since 2012 it has shown signs of improvement, thanks to the combination of exports recovery and limited imports. According to available data, Poland's trade balance was positive in 2016, as exports grew faster than imports. By 2016, these exports benefited from the economic recovery of its trading partners within the EU. Moreover, Polish agricultural exports to Russia were hit by an embargo in 2014, while exports to Ukraine have fallen sharply due to the deteriorating situation. As a result, Poland announced that it would concentrate its export efforts on eleven new countries (Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Malaysia, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia).

The three main trade partners of the country are Germany, the United Kingdom and Czech Republic.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 199,060207,607223,674192,601197,312
Exports of Goods (million USD) 185,374204,984220,152198,243202,522
Imports of Services (million USD) 33,77134,24336,53732,46133,847
Exports of Services (million USD) 41,76344,49148,01143,42549,010
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -0.31.710.06.68.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.66.16.77.79.0
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 44.944.446.146.448.4
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 44.446.347.649.552.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -10,496-452-4,2912,4642,179
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 89.390.793.796.0100.7

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

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2016
Germany 27.0%
United Kingdom 6.6%
Czech Republic 6.5%
France 5.5%
Italy 4.8%
Netherlands 4.4%
Russia 2.9%
Sweden 2.9%
Spain 2.8%
Hungary 2.6%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2016
Germany 22.9%
China 12.4%
Russia 6.1%
Italy 5.1%
France 3.9%
Netherlands 3.7%
Czech Republic 3.5%
United States 2.9%
Belgium 2.6%
United Kingdom 2.6%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 

Main Products

196.5 bn USD of products exported in 2016
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. 5.7%
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) 3.9%
Seats, whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. medical, surgical, dental or veterinary of heading 9402) 2.8%
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. 2.0%
Furniture and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. seats and medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture) 2.0%
Television receivers, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors 2.0%
Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable incl. coaxial cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made-up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 1.3%
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) 1.2%
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 1.1%
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 1.1%
188.5 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) 3.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.8%
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. 3.6%
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%
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. 1.9%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 1.3%
Parts suitable for use solely or principally with transmission and reception apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting, television, television cameras, still image video cameras and other video camera recorders, radar apparatus, radio navigational aid apparatus or radio remote control apparatus, n.e.s. 1.3%
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 1.2%
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 1.2%
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 1.0%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 
 
 

Main Services

86.3 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Transportation
30.62%
Travel
26.02%
Other business services
25.02%
Computer and information services
8.83%
Construction services
4.03%
Financial services
1.83%
Communications services
1.25%
Cultural and recreational services
0.99%
Royalties and license fees
0.80%
Insurance services
0.60%
69.5 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Travel
25.54%
Other business services
25.52%
Transportation
22.37%
Royalties and license fees
8.53%
Computer and information services
7.16%
Insurance services
2.48%
Cultural and recreational services
2.34%
Construction services
2.32%
Communications services
1.88%
Financial services
1.88%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Polish Zloty (PLN)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange regime.
Level of Currency Instability
Low. Remaining outside the Eurozone gives Poland monetary freedom, but it opens some risks to the currency’s stability.
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20112012201320142015
Polish Zloty (PLN) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 2.963.263.163.153.77

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
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 European Economic Area which has guaranteed, since 1 January 1993, the free movement of most goods between European countries.
Multilateral agreements and bilateral agreements with many countries.
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 25 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 (at least in duplicate, it must contain the intracommunity VAT number of the operator who is carrying out the delivery, that of the buyer by which he is identified in the country of delivery, it must mention "VAT exemption, art. 262 ter-1 of the CGI")
- the delivery note (signed by the foreign customer; it proves the delivery has been made)
- the sanitary and phytosanitary certificate (for live animals and for fruit and vegetables)
- the single administrative document (SAD) for trade with overseas Departments as well as with the Channel Islands and the Canaries.

In the case of temporary export within the EU, the ATA carnet and the Community carnet are no longer necessary. It is enough to keep a register listing the temporary shipments.

However, in the case of goods transiting or destined for one of the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), form T2 should be produced or a copy A (computerized transit). In the same way, goods transiting or destined for the Channel Islands or the Canaries must be accompanied by form T2F.

Free Zones
There are seven Free Trade Zones (Wolny Obszar Celny): Gliwice, near Poland’s southern border; Terespol, near Poland’s eastern border; Mszczonow, near Warsaw; Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin International Airport; Szczecin; Swinoujscie; and Gdansk.
For Further Information
Customs Service
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Finance
Non Tariff Barriers
As it joined the European Union on 1st May, 2004, Poland follows the trade policy of the EU, including anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures. The import regime of the European Union, especially in the sector of textile goods, is widespread in Poland. The country integrated much of community legislation the day it joined the EU but a transition period was defined to adapt the rest of community benefits.
The EU has a liberal import regime where having to obtain import licenses is uncommon. However, you should ensure that importing a particular product does not need an import license.
At the European level, agricultural products are protected within the framework of the common agricultural policy and textile goods coming from China, Belarus, North Korea, Montenegro, Kosovo and Uzbekistan are subject to particular formalities and to import licenses or control procedures (export document, inspection document). There are certain licensing requirements for trading in dual-use (i.e. both civil and military use) goods and technologies, in certain chemicals, particularly narcotic drugs and psychotropics, and in cultural goods.
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Disputes registred with the WTO involve the following sectors: iron/steel, sugar, pigmeat, automobiles and pharmaceutical products.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
WTO webpages on Poland
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

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

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Polish Standardisation Committee
Integration in the International Standards Network
Poland has developed a widespread system of standards and certifications of its own, not always harmonised with international standards. Now Poland also use European Union standards. It is a member of different international standards organisations: ISO, IEC, CEN, CENELEC, ETSI. It also cooperates with other international organisations for the harmonisation of standards and certifications, such as UN/ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), WTO/TBT (WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade).
Obligation to Use Standards
Many standards concerning goods are obligatory and must be verified by a certified Polish control agency. The safety certificate "B" has been necessary since 1994 for imported goods and Polish products. Poland does not necessarily accept international standards. Test procedures may be long and costly (sometimes more than 3 months). For the building industry some products must be specifically certified. The organization in charge of testing is the Institute for Building Technologies (Instytutu Techniki Budowlanej).
Classification of Standards
Concerning marketing, in Poland, products are subject to the New Approach European directives: since 1st May, 2004, they must carry the "CE" mark. For further information about CE marking, please consult this page.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
In Poland, people do not bother very much yet about observing norms or standards, so their presence has little influence on the volume of sales. European Union standards created under the New Approach are harmonized across the 27 EU member states and European Economic Area countries to allow for the free flow of goods.
Online Consultation of Standards
Catalog of Polish Standards
Certification Organisations
Polish Centre for Certification
Polish Centre for Accreditation

 

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Last Updates: August 2017