Where Can I Find Trade Resources and Get Started?

Where do I start?

Identifying your product’s Harmonized System (HS) code is a first step. This allows for making more targeted searches for the most useful information as you look to trade (see guide on how do I determine my product’s Hs code). 

With this information in hand, the internet offers a variety of online tools, platforms, and interfaces that provide relevant trade information for making business decisions. One of these online resources is the Global Trade Helpdesk (GTH). 

The GTH is a multi-agency initiative that facilitates market research for companies and integrates trade and business information into a single online portal. It builds on existing trade information services being offered by several international organizations, enabling businesses to access a wealth of global trade resources. Businesses can access the GTH at  

What types of information does the Global Trade Helpdesk offer? 

The GTH allows businesses to explore markets, assess requirements, navigate procedures, and identify partners through its four modules. The first module offers an insight into the target market attractiveness and a snapshot of this market performance and access conditions. The second module helps businesses to assess market access conditions, including tariffs, regulations, and private standards. The third module offers overall guidance on domestic procedures, including time and cost to export, step-by-step procedures, and information related to intellectual property rights. Finally, the fourth module provides relevant contact details for both potential buyers and trade support institutions.

What trade information tools are integrated into the GTH? 

  • Trade Map: analyzes global trade flows, export/import performance, international demand, alternative markets, and the role of competitors. Visit the map.
  • Market Access Map: identifies customs tariffs, tariff rate quotas, trade remedies, regulatory requirements, and preferential regimes. Visit the map.
  • UNCTAD TRAINS: provides data on non-tariff measures at the HS 6-digit product classification across more than 90 countries. Visit the TRAINS site.
  • Export Potential Map: highlights products, markets, and suppliers with untapped export potential, as well as opportunities for export diversification. Visit the map.
  • Trade Information Portals: Ten countries have their trade information portals linked to the GTH. These portals visualize step-by-step guides to trade procedures. Visit the portals.
  • Trade Facilitation Database: analyses the implementation status of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and provides information about trade procedures, enquiry points, customs brokers, and single windows. Visit the  TFA database.
  • Sustainability Map: highlights business strengths and sustainability credentials to access new markets and preferential credits. Visit the map.
  • ePing Alert: notifies businesses about product requirements and facilitates dialogues on potential trade problems at earlier stages. Visit the ePing Alert.
  • Regional Network Hubs: Business social networks like ConnectAmericas or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) MSME Marketplace can help businesses reach regional and global clients, suppliers, and investors. Visit ConnectAmericas and APEC’s MSME Marketplace.
  • Rules of Origin Facilitator: enables businesses to find out import duties in foreign markets applicable to their products, as well as duty savings, detailed rules of origin and certification procedures. Visit the facilitator.

Full details are at the GTH site.