USA is a major trade partner in the Israeli economy.
The amount of trade was in 2014
In million $ excluding diamonds.
Exports to Israel 7609
Import from Israel 10556
Major goods that are exported to Israel;
Agri products, food, minerals ,chemical industry, plastic and rubber, paper, textile, machinery, electric and electronic, optical and more
Some of made in USA goods- like components etc, return to USA, in made in Israel finished goods.
Between USA and Israel, there is a ” Free trade area agreement”, whereby most made in USA goods are duty free in Israel and vice versa.
The agreement specifies the rules for the agreement.
Most trade is free without any quota or import permit, but there are other import regulation
By various government authorities, like health, agriculture, communication etc.
Foreign trade in Israel, is free without any currency restrictions, and trade is done in US $.
All banks in Israel correspond with all major US banks, some have also US branches.
Trade is done by-
Letter of credit
Shipments to Israel are done via major ocean carriers and airlines
Ocean ports are
Haifa- in the north
Ashdod in the south
Ben Gurion intl airport is the intl airport
English is a common language among the Israeli businessmen.
-Documents relating for regulation of specific goods
-Free trade area certificate attached to the documents of the shipment, signed by the exporter, chamber of commerce and
US customs ( check the agreement for the rules before shipping)
The document is prepared by the customs house broker/forwarder at the time of shipping.
-Other documents that may be required depending on the goods exported like
FDA, Communication, specifications, phytosanitary certificate, transportation and other docs, depends on the nature of exported goods.
At the moment there is no reciprocity for recognition of standards of goods which means that
A US approved FDA product, has to be approved once again in Israel, same with UL, and US regulators..
As mentioned above most goods are duty free in Israel except some.
The Israeli customs office is in charge on import procedure;
Goods are classified according to the intl HS code ( Harmonized schedule)
There is a small group of items that require import license, or are subject to government quota
The major tax in import is (right now) 17 % VAT ,which is refundable by the importer according to his turnover cycle.
The base for payment is;
Value of goods CIF ( which includes Freight and insurance)
And pier charge in ocean ports.
( as mentioned almost no import duty for US goods, unless for some selected items)
Most import shipments about -95% are cleared the same day by Customs office, procedures are done by customs house brokers
Who are computer linked to the customs office.
For a few goods the tax structure is different , but not the VAT.
Tips for the US exporter
-Check the market potential for your goods- consumption, local production, import and from where,
-Israel has similar agreements to the Free trade area agreement with- EU, CANADA, TURKEY, MEXICO, MECUSOR COUNTRIES
And has trade relation with almost all countries in the world.
-Find the proper channel of distribution in Israel for your goods
Like- OEM, agent, importer, distributor
-Check Your potential channel-customer,here
– Check Localization- labeling, Hebrew instruction, etc.
-Check Guarantee, spare part policy, after sale service, replacement policy
-Check The ratio between US $ and Euro, it has impact on trade.
-Check The legality for exporting from USA, (like with defense products)
-Check IP status of your product in Israel
-Check Import regulation in Israel and export regulation in US, before shipping- even for samples
Israel is a relative small country, 8,4million people, with a GDP close to 40000 $, and is considered a good country
For exporters, morale payment of importers is good, and the strength of the economy is also good.
Israel is also called “start up nation”