BAFA has the task to protect various branches of the European and, thus, domestic industry from uncontrolled market access by third countries. For this purpose, it grants import licences and surveillance documents for certain items of trade and industry which are subject to quantitative restriction or supervision by the European regulations. Thereby, it translates the common trade policy of the European Union into individual decisions.
BAFA administres so-called autonomous contingents within the textile and clothing sector, i. e. one-sided quotas for third countries with which there exist no bilateral agreements with the European Union. In the framework of outward processing BAFA grants import licences in the form of prior authorizations for clothing manufactured in third countries.
In co-operation with the authorities of the countries of origin, the European Commission and German customs offices, the Central Office dealing with Circumvention Imports in the Textile Sector, BAFA examines and prevents cases of false declarations of non-preferential imports in the field of textiles.
In the steel sector BAFA grants import licences executing the Iron and Steel Regime of the European Community and monitors import quantities and prices.
Where liberalised goods are imported, BAFA evaluates reports from e.g. the petroleum, natural gas, and fuel areas and observes – with the help of surveillance documents – the import of so-called sensitive goods, like iron and steel products of different supplier countries, and provides information and statistics on trade policy to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as well as to the European Commission.
BAFA publishes the conditions applying to the granting of import licences and surveillance documents as announcements in the Federal Gazette. These announcements may also be found at http://www.bafa.de/bafa/de/weitere_aufgaben/einfuhr/einfuhrausschreibungen/index.html
Moreover, BAFA processes statistical data referring to production, foreign trade and labour market to obtain interpretable reports.