The EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement with Albania in Geneva, Switzerland, on 17 December 2009.
1 November 2010 for Albania, Liechtenstein and Switzerland; 1 August 2011 for Norway; 1 October 2011 for Iceland.
The main focus of the Agreement is the liberalisation of trade in goods. All customs duties on industrial products, including fish and other marine products, are abolished from the entry into force of the Agreement. Additional agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA States and Albania form an integral part of the instruments establishing the free trade area.
EFTA-Albania trade statistics can be found with the EFTA Trade Statistics Tool.
Representatives of the four EFTA States and Albania met on 18 September in Geneva to sign a protocol adding a chapter on trade and sustainable development to the EFTA-Albania Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The Joint Committee established under the free trade agreement between the EFTA States and Albania held its first meeting on 5 February 2013 in Tirana.
At two Export Promotion seminars held in Tirana and Shkodra on 10 and 11 March 2011, Albanian businesses were informed on how to use the EFTA-Albania Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enhance their exports to the EFTA markets.
Following ratification of the EFTA-Albania Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Albania, the FTA will enter into force between these three parties on 1 November 2010. For Iceland and Norway, it will become effective after the completion of their respective ratification procedures.
Ministers from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Albania’s Geneva based Ambassador signed a Free Trade Agreement today.
The four EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) and Albania initialed the texts for a Free Trade Agreement on 26 June 2009 in Geneva, after just two rounds of negotiations.
The first round of negotiations between the EFTA States and Albania took place in Tirana on 12-14 May 2009. The substantive progress achieved bodes well for the further process towards the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement.
The Agreement consists of a total of 43 Articles, five Annexes and two Protocols. The Agreement covers the following main subjects:
With the entry into force of the Agreement, all customs duties on industrial products, including fish and marine products (Annex II), originating in the Parties are abolished (Article 8).
The Agreement also provides for tariff concessions on processed agricultural products (Protocol A). Trade in basic agricultural products is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements between the respective EFTA State and Albania. These agreements provide for substantial concessions on both sides, while taking into account the respective sensitivities of the Parties.
The rules of origin and the methods of administrative co-operation set out in Protocol B, and its seven Appendices, are based on the Pan-EuroMediterranean model text. This will allow for cumulation of materials originating in the EFTA States, Albania and the other “Pan-Euro-Med” member countries once the respective agreements are in place between those countries and Albania.
The Agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex III). Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical regulations are dealt with in Chapter 2 and refer to WTO law. Furthermore, the Agreement includes provisions on state trading enterprises, subsidies, anti-dumping, and anticompetitive practices affecting the trade relations between the Parties as well as disciplines on safeguard measures.
The provisions on protection of intellectual property rights (Article 23 and Annex V) cover inter alia, patents, trademarks, copyrights and geographical indications. They are based on the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and provide for a high level of protection, taking into account the principles of most favoured nation treatment and of national treatment.
The provision on investment (Article 24) mainly refers to investment promotion and contains a review clause (5 years). The Agreement also ensures the free transfer of payments for current transactions and capital movements, subject to a provision on balance of payment difficulties, which is based on the respective WTO provisions (Chapter 5). Regarding services, the Agreement refers to the GATS, containing in particular a “most favoured nation” provision and a review clause in accordance with GATS (Article 25).
The Agreement also includes a provision on public procurement aiming in particular at ensuring transparency and avoiding discrimination (Article 26).
In Chapter 6, the Agreement establishes a Joint Committee, which supervises and administers the Agreement and oversees its further development. The Joint Committee may take decisions in cases provided for by the Agreement and make recommendations in other matters.
Chapter 7 contains rules and procedures for the settlement of disputes arising under the Agreement between one or more of the EFTA States and Albania.
|Trade in Goods||Annex I||Excluded Products|
|Annex II||Fish and Other Marine Products|
|Annex III||Trade Facilitation|
|Annex IV||Mandate for the Sub-Committee|
|Protocol A||Processed Agricultural Products|
|Protocol B||Concept of "Originating Products" and Methods of Administrative Co-operation||Appendix 1||Introductory Notes|
|Appendix 2||List Rules|
|Appendix 3A||Movement Certificate EUR.1|
|Appendix 3B||Movement Certificate EUR-MED|
|Appendix 4A||Invoice Declaration|
|Appendix 4B||Invoice Declaration EUR-MED|
|Appendix 5||List of Countries|
|IPR||Annex V||Protection of Intellectual Property|
|Decision||Subject||Adopted||Entry into force|
|No. 1/2013||Rules of Procedure||05.02.2013||05.02.2013|
|Iceland||Detailed information on concessions for Processed Agricultural Products|
|Link to Protocol 3 of the EEA Agreement|
|Norway||Detailed information on concessions for Processed Agricultural Products|
|Link to Protocol 3 of the EEA Agreement|
|Switzerland||Detailed information on concessions for Processed Agricultural Products|
|Notification on System|
|Link to Protocol 2 of the Swiss-EU bilateral Agreement on PAP|