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Trade Profile

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

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Portugal's economy is open to foreign trade and investment, with trade representing 79% of its GDP in 2016. Becoming a member of the European Union has changed the structure of Portuguese imports and exports. While the country has traditionally exported agricultural products, textiles and clothing, it has begun to export an increasing amount of technological equipment. Portugal intends to double its agricultural exports by 2020. Other traded goods include hydrocarbons, vehicles, paper and medicines. The EU is Portugal’s main trading partner, with Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and France making up its core EU partners. Portugal's largest customers outside EU are Angola and China.

The country has a negative trade balance. In 2016, the deficit amounted to EUR 10.7 billion, up slightly from the previous year. Exports rose by 0.9%, more slowly than imports (1.2%).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 72,42975,71978,35066,70167,567
Exports of Goods (million USD) 58,09062,82363,90755,27155,662
Imports of Services (million USD) 13,47614,39516,00814,17114,769
Exports of Services (million USD) 25,50228,86931,11227,77529,297
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -6.34.77.88.24.4
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.47.04.36.14.4
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 38.238.539.939.839.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 37.739.540.140.640.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -11,919-10,626-12,559-10,270-10,026
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 75.978.080.080.479.3

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

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2016
Spain 26.2%
France 12.6%
Germany 11.6%
United Kingdom 7.0%
United States 4.9%
Netherlands 3.7%
Italy 3.4%
Angola 3.0%
Belgium 2.4%
Morocco 1.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2016
Spain 32.8%
Germany 13.5%
France 7.8%
Italy 5.5%
Netherlands 5.1%
United Kingdom 3.1%
China 3.0%
Belgium 2.8%
Russia 1.9%
Brazil 1.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 

Main Products

55.7 bn USD of products exported in 2016
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 5.2%
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. 4.8%
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) 3.5%
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) 3.4%
Uncoated paper and paperboard, of a kind used for writing, printing or other graphic purposes, and non-perforated punch-cards and punch tape paper, in rolls or in square or rectangular sheets, of any size, and hand-made paper and paperboard (excl. newsprint of heading 4801 and paper and paperboard of heading 4803) 2.3%
New pneumatic tyres, of rubber 1.8%
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) 1.7%
Seats, whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. medical, surgical, dental or veterinary of heading 9402) 1.7%
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 1.7%
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 1.4%
67.6 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) 6.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 6.3%
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. 3.5%
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) 3.1%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 1.7%
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 1.3%
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. 1.1%
Powered aircraft e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 1.0%
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 1.0%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 0.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2017

 
 
 

Main Services

61.0 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Travel
45.30%
Transportation
24.89%
Other business services
18.36%
Computer and information services
2.45%
Communications services
2.43%
Construction services
2.31%
Financial services
1.80%
Cultural and recreational services
1.03%
Government services
0.75%
Insurance services
0.40%
Royalties and license fees
0.27%
30.7 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Travel
28.69%
Transportation
27.59%
Other business services
21.43%
Computer and information services
4.69%
Royalties and license fees
4.42%
Communications services
4.16%
Insurance services
2.92%
Financial services
2.23%
Cultural and recreational services
2.17%
Construction services
1.00%
Government services
0.69%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Regime
The paying-up of capital flows, not only regarding EU members but also other countries,has been in force since December 16th, 1992. However, the Bank of Portugal reserves the right to impose temporary limitations in some exceptional circumstances.
Level of Currency Instability
Little risk as the euro is a major currency.
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20112012201320142015
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.720.780.750.750.90

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, of the European Economic Area, of the Schengen Area. Also a member of other international organisations, such as the Community of Portuguese Speaking 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 required for moving goods between EU countries are as follows:
- the commercial invoice (at least a duplicate copy, which must contain, besides the usual information, 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, and it must mention "VAT exemption, art. 262 b-1 of the CGI")
- the delivery note
- the sanitary and phytosanitary certificates
- the single administrative document (SAD)

In the case of temporary export within the EU, the ATA carnet and the Community carnet are not needed. It is enough to keep a register listing the temporary shipments.

No transport documents are required for intracommunity trade.
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
The "Zona Franca da Madeira", located in the Madeira islands is the only free zone on Portuguese territory. For further information, you can consult the International Business Centre of Madeira's website.
For Further Information
Directorate General of Customs
Portuguese agency for investment and foreign trade (Business Development Agency)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of the Economy
Non Tariff Barriers
As it is a member of the European Union, Portugal enforces the Community regulations which are valid throughout the Union. The main non-Customs barrier concerns agricultural products and is based upon the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Protection of patents
Assessment of Commercial Policy
The WTO webpages on Portugal
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

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

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Portuguese Certification Association (APCER)
Portuguese Quality Institute (IPQ)
Integration in the International Standards Network
At the European level:
- CEN, European Committee for Standardisation
- CENELEC, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation
- ETSI, European Telecommunications Standards Institute


At the international level:
- ISO, International Standard Organisation
- IEC, International Electrotechnical Commission

Obligation to Use Standards
Conformity to standards is compulsory for products such as machines, tools, electrical appliances, sports equipment, toys etc., and this list continues to grow. Goods which have complex technology or are potentially dangerous must be submitted for rigorous testing and approval procedures before they can be marketed in Portugal.
Classification of Standards
NP, the national certfication mark
CE, European certification mark (compulsory for a product to be sold on the market)
Assessment of the System of Standardization
The Portuguese are increasingly receptive to standards being observed; the PT mark, or the ISO 9000 certification, are well known to consumers and firms, and they are appreciated for their guarantee of the quality and safety of products and services. Information and awareness campaigns are carried out by public institutions.
Online Consultation of Standards
APCER (Certification Association)
Certification Organisations
Portuguese Accreditation Institute (IPAC)
Associations of Standards Users
Portuguese Certification Association (APCER)

 

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Last Updates: July 2017