Trade deal fuels fireplace exports
Parkanex Export Manager Oliver Bartnik remembers travelling to the Austrian-Polish border and waiting for the company’s imports to clear customs. This was, of course, in the days before Polish accession to the EU, and much has changed for the company since those early days. In 1996, Mr Bartnik’s father founded Parkanex, which was then focussed on importing flue pipes from Austria for sale in Poland. Today, the company buys and manufactures a range of fireplace and ventilation accessories, as well as freestanding stoves, for the domestic market – and increasingly for export.
Trade agreements have been influential in our business, as it is no coincidence that all our export markets are countries with EU trade deals.
Oliver Bartnik, Parkanex
Two of the company’s main non-EU markets are Moldova and Ukraine. The EU’s Association Agreements with both countries have been in place since 2014. Without agreements like these, Parkanex’s products would be subject to customs tariffs of 8-10%, which would adversely affect their competitive edge.
Swift customs clearance
Along with wholesalers in Ukraine, Parkanex also sells to retail stores in Moldova, Israel and Macedonia, and a construction company in Morocco. Today, Parkanex’s export market is 13% of overall sales and this is increasing year-on-year.
When Parkanex receives an order from Ukraine or Moldova, for example, customers in those countries organise transport. Goods are loaded onto the truck and the truck goes to the customs agency. It takes 1.5-2 hours to clear customs. “We provide a EUR.1 certificate stating the origin of the products,” says Mr. Bartnik. When exporting Parkanex’s own manufactured products, creating a EUR.1 is very simple, as the company is the originator of the goods. For products that it resells, it needs to obtain origin declarations from its suppliers.
Looking to the future
Parkanex updated the design of its fireplaces to meet environmental standards, and was duly certified.
Today Parkanex employs 50 people over two locations in Poland, many of whom have been part of the company since the very beginning. Mr Bartnik is currently in talks to expand into Jordan and Kazakhstan, and EU trade deals will continue to play an important role in Parkanex’s future.