Exporting to Israel

Israel is a highly developed, western-orientated market whose business practice is similar to much of Western Europe. UK exports to Israel have grown steadily and many British companies have a major presence in the market.

Strong economic performance

Israel’s economic performance is strong in terms of GDP growth, low inflation, and falling unemployment. The Israeli economy is stable, mature and supported by an efficient public sector.

Growing UK export market

Israel continues to be a growing export market for UK companies. According to official figures published by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, annual British exports to Israel have grown steadily in the past few years, from £2.16 billion in 2016 to £2.50 billion in 2019 (ONS, 2019).

Research and development

Israel has an excellent reputation for innovation and invention and is a world centre for research and development. There are opportunities for UK companies to pursue collaboration agreements with Israeli tech companies. Sectors of particular interest are software, electronics, biotech, healthcare, and telecommunications.

Ease of doing business

35th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Shekel

Business language

Hebrew, English

GDP per capita

$41,728

UK is $41,030 (IMF, 2019)

Economic growth

3.5%

(IMF, 2019)

Time zone

GMT +2

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Israel have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors

Doing business in Israel

Preparing to export

Taxation

The UK and Israel have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Israel, provided certain conditions are met.

VAT in Israel is currently charged at 17%. It is based on the duty paid value plus any other taxes and charges applied to imports.

For more information on taxes please consult the Israel Tax Authority.

Regulations

The Standards Institution of Israel has responsibility for standards, testing and certification.

Labelling

Israel has strict marking and labelling requirements. Exporters should speak to their Israeli importer before shipping any product intended for the local market.

All imports into Israel must have a label indicating:

  • country of origin
  • name and address of the producer
  • name and address of the Israeli importer
  • contents
  • weight or volume in metric units

All labelling must be in Hebrew. English can also be used as long as the letters are no larger than the Hebrew.

Operating in Israel

Business culture

The business environment and style will seem familiar to UK companies. Dress codes may seem more informal and personal relationships sometimes play a greater role.

Israel is a mature market in many sectors and UK companies will face significant local and international competition.

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting. Intellectual property (IP), designs, trademarks, patents and copyright are strongly protected by the Israeli legal system.

The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for IP in Israel.

Read the FCO’s Overseas Business Risk report for more information on IP protection in Israel.

Payment terms

Payment terms are generally by agreement, but methods usually include the options of credit (often for a well-established relationship), cash against documents or letters of credit.

Using agents and distributors

British companies should appoint a local agent or distributor, rather than attempt to sell direct. Israel is geographically small with short distances between the main population centres. One agent is usually able to cover the whole market.

Protective security

The political and security environment can be tense because of the geopolitical neighbourhood.

However, in general Israel is considered a safe place to do business and foreign business people are warmly welcomed.

If you have any concerns, read the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice for Israel.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.