Bilateral trade

The EU is Israel's largest import and export market and accounts for about a third of Israel's total trade. Israel is one of EU's leading trading partners in the Mediterranean area and ranked as the EU's 27th major trade partner globally in 2014. Moreover, trade volume between Israel and the EU has increased significantly over the last decade. Economic growth in Israel has been relatively strong, further increasing opportunities for the EU and Israel to do business and trade. The Israeli market has performed well in recent years although GDP growth has gradually slowed down from 5.8% in 2010 to 2.8% in 2014[1].

Trade in goods

  • EU goods exports to Israel in 2014: €17.0 billion
  • EU goods imports from Israel in 2014: €13 billion

The main imports to the EU from Israel in 2014 were chemicals and related products (27.1%), Machinery and transport equipment (18.2%), and Manufactured goods (16.2%).

The main exports to Israel from the EU in 2014 were in the same categories, i.e. machinery and transport equipment (37.2%), chemicals and related products (18%) and manufactured goods (17.7%).

In 2014, the EU remained Israel's largest goods trade partner, accounting for 27% of Israel's goods export and 33% of its imports[2].

Trade in services

Israel is primarily a service economy and services account for over 67% of its GDP[3]. Trade in services between EU and Israel has remained stagnant in recent years. Total exports of services from the EU to Israel amounted to €4.5 billion in 2012. Total imports of services from Israel amounted to €3.3 billion. The EU mainly exports to and imports from Israel transportation services and travel services.

Promoting bilateral trade

The EU and Israel have worked together to improve trade and economic relations. On top of existing trade agreements eliminating tariffs and quotas on industrial products, in 2010 an EU-Israel agreement on agriculture and fisheries, greatly improving mutual market access, entered into force. Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA) entered into force on 10 June 2013, and an Open Skies Aviation agreement entered into force on 19 January 2013. Some minor trade irritants persist and they are dealt with on a per-case basis.

Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA)

The EU and Israel signed on 6 May 2010 an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA) which entered into force on 19 January 2013. The Agreement contains an annex on good manufacturing practices for pharmaceutical products which will allow for EU-certified pharmaceuticals to be placed on Israel's market and vice-versa, without additional certification.

EU-Israel Open Skies Agreement

The EU and Israel have signed on 10 June 2013 a Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement. The agreement will allow all EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights to Israel from anywhere in the EU and Israeli carriers will be able to operate flights to all airports throughout the EU. The EU-Israel air transport market will be opened gradually over the next five years so that by 2018, the market will be fully open with no restrictions on the number of flights.

[1] According to the Ministry of Finance – 22/2/2015

[2] According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics – 20/1/2015

[3] According to the Tel Aviv and Central Israel Chamber of Commerce – January 2015

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