By: Morey Manor, International Marketing Consultant, Tel Aviv, Israel


Some Basic Facts and Information making Israel an attractive export market.


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)          $304 billion USD

GDP per capita                                        $32,140       USD

Population                                               Over 8 million

Democratic and free market

Competitive regulatory environment, well-established rule of law

English is the common language in Israel business


The major products exported to Israel are:

Agricultural products, food. Chemicals, plastic and paper products, textiles, and

machinery (electric, electronic, optical, others). Some US goods return to the US as part

of made-in-Israel finished goods. Israel’s reputation as the Start-up Nation makes it a

good market for technical goods and components; some such return to the US in

made-in-Israel finished products.


Most trade is free, without any quota or import permit, but there are regulations by government authorities such as health, agriculture, communications, and others. Foreign trade in Israel is free without any currency restrictions, and trade is done in US dollars.


All banks in Israel correspond with all major US banks, and some also have US branches.

Trade is done by open account, CAD, letter of credit.


Shipments to Israel are done by major ocean carriers and airlines. The ocean ports are Haifa in the north and Ashdod in the south. Israel’s international airport is Ben Gurion.


There is no reciprocity for recognition of standard, which means that a US-approved FDA product must be approved again in Israel, Same with UL, and other US   and or

Other International standards.


About 95% of import shipments are cleared in one day by the Customs office. The procedures are handled by customs house brokers who are computer-linked to the Customs office


The Israel customs office is in charge of import procedures. Goods are classified according to the International HS (Harmonized Schedule). There is a small group of items that require import license or are subject to government quota. The major tax on imports is 17% VAT (Value Added Tax) which is refundable according to its turnover cycle. Most goods are duty-free.


The base for payment is value of goods (CIF), which includes freight and insurance and other charges in ocean ports.


Tips for US Exporters – It is advisable for US companies considering and/or engaging in export to Israel to give attention to the following:


It may be necessary to Israelize the products, , with such as: Hebrew language labels, Israel measures of weight and dimesions, instructions/user manuel.


Research to determine the market potential, Israeli needs and preferences, appropriate distribution channel and the companies in each channel.


Identify and study major competitors and customers for your products those Israeli companies that are candidates to distribute your products in Israel.


Customer needs and expectations for such as spare parts, guarantees, post-sale services, replacement.


Changes in currency exchange rates, of other countries.


Trade Agreements – Most, but not all, imports from the US are duty-free. The US-Israel Free Trade Agreement has been in force since January 1, 1995. For all products, required documents include: a Certificate of Origin (COO), called, Free Trade Area Certificate, which is prepared by the shipper, customs house broker or freight forwarder. Author: Morey Manor, International Marketing Consultant, Tel Aviv Israel,, Mobile- 972   50 5 332400