Trade barriers in the EU

Trade barriers in the EU – how the Embassy of Sweden might help your company

Globalisation is increasing the opportunities for companies to cross-border trade. New foreign markets open new opportunities for Swedish companies, as well as the Swedish market should be an opportunity for foreign companies. Open trade is an extremely strong way to promote growth and to alleviate poverty in the world. Sweden and Italy are both members of the European Union and belong to the same internal market. Moreover, Sweden and Italy enjoy good trade relations and Italy is among the top-ten countries in the world for both Swedish exports and imports.

One of the founding principles of the EU's internal market is that goods should be able to be traded freely within the Union. Nevertheless, Swedish companies might sometimes encounter problems in the EU and sometimes these could be defined as trade barriers. These trade barriers could be all types of official measures that hinder or make it harder to trade with goods or services, both concerning import and export. Examples of possible trade barriers are fees, technical barriers, quantitative barriers, non correctly applied rules of origin, special documentation requirements at the border, measures related to intellectual property, difficult or lengthy bureaucracy, corruption within an official administrative body, discriminating state procurement or political interference in judicial or licence procedures.

Some trade barriers can be hard to overcome, especially for smaller and medium sized companies. This can lead to substantial economic losses for the companies concerned. The Swedish Embassies all over the world are eager to help Swedish companies that are experiencing trade barriers. The Embassy of Sweden in Rome is willing to discuss any barriers to trade experienced by a Swedish company in Italy. The Embassy also has direct access to expertise in Stockholm in the field of trade barriers. Together with the company the Embassy can discuss different possibilities on how and if to act, including the European Union's informal network for solving problems on the internal market- SOLVIT.

If you represent a Swedish company on the Italian market and if you in confidentiality would like to discuss a possible trade barrier, or if you simply have any questions on the text above, please contact Counsellor Tobias Axerup at the Embassy of Sweden in Rome. (Tel 06 44 194 259, email: The Embassy will only act when the concerned company and the Embassy agree on a way forward.