Confindustria Ceramica

International markets

The Italian ceramic tile industry exports its products to more than 180 countries worldwide and in 2006 generated export revenues of almost 3.9 billion euro. With 38%, Italy holds the largest share of international trade in this product. By the first half of the 1990s the sector’s exports had reached more than 70% of total sales, and since then have continued to rise steadily.

Confindustria Ceramica focuses enormous efforts in this area. Its activities include providing continuous information and support to members and lobbying on behalf of its represented sectors through a presence on the committees of institutions of all kinds and levels, either directly or through European federations.
The association conducts its activities in many different areas, three of which are particularly worthy of mention.

WTO multilateral commercial negotiation
In order to consolidate the Italian ceramic tile industry’s leadership position, it is essential to guarantee access to markets and eliminate or reduce barriers to trade. The presence of often very substantial customs tariffs in various countries around the world and in particular in areas of large potential consumption severely affects the Italian tile industry’s export opportunities.
During the previous GATT Talks, the Association successfully lobbied together with the competent ministries and the European Commission for the elimination of tariff peaks. In particular it secured a commitment that import duty in the USA would be gradually reduced over a period of a decade in order to ultimately reach a level of 50% of the tariffs applied at the beginning of the talks.
The association is now continuing its efforts at the Doha Round of the WTO, again in conjunction with the competent institutions. This is an important opportunity to continue with the work of removing existing tariff barriers.

Technical export barriers
The obstacles to free movement of goods include barriers of a technical nature, which severely impact Italian exporter companies due to unclear legislation that often makes reference to discordant sources.
To address this issue, Confindustria Ceramica works closely with the competent Ministries and the ICE and makes use of the technical support of the Italian Ceramic Centre in Bologna. The association’s efforts involve providing information to represented companies and conducting parallel activities for the purpose of eliminating or at least reducing these barriers.

Safeguarding Italian products
As evidenced by the popularity of the aesthetic and technical qualities of Italian products in all markets, Italian origin is an important added value for ceramic tiles. It is imperative to safeguard this competitive advantage.
For this purpose, Confindustria Ceramica provides continuous support in conjunction with the competent Italian and EU institutional bodies. It also scrutinises the market to prevent improper use of this important asset that rightfully belongs to the Italian ceramic tile manufacturing companies.