Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA States and Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed in Trondheim, Norway, on 24 June 2013. The agreement entered into force on 1 January 2015.
The main focus of the EFTA-Bosnia and Herzegovina Free Trade Agreement is on the liberalisation of trade in goods. EFTA and Bosnia and Herzegovina abolish all customs duties on industrial products as of the entry into force of the Agreement. Additional agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA States and Bosnia and Herzegovina form an integral part of the instruments establishing the free trade area.
The Agreement consists of a total 54 articles and eight annexes. It covers the following main subjects:
- Trade in Goods
- Protection of Intellectual Property
- Investment, Services and Government Procurement
- Payments and Capital Movements
- Trade and Sustainable Development
- Institutional Provisions
- Dispute Settlement
Trade in Goods
With the entry into force of the Agreement, EFTA abolishes all customs duties on imports of industrial products, including fish and other marine products, originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina likewise abolishes all customs duties on industrial products originating in an EFTA State, apart from a few sensitive fish and other marine products (Annex III). For most of those products a gradual dismantling by Bosnia and Herzegovina is foreseen to take place until 2018. The Agreement provides for tariff concessions on processed agricultural products (Annex II). Tariff concessions on basic agricultural products are covered by three bilateral agreements concluded between the individual EFTA States and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The rules of origin and the methods of administrative cooperation between customs authorities are based on the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean origin rules. This allows for accumulation of materials originating in the EFTA States, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other 'Pan-Euro-Med' member countries once the respective agreements are in place between the parties concerned. The Agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex V). 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, anti-competitive practices affecting trade relations between the Parties, and disciplines on safeguard measures.
Intellectualy Property Rights
The provisions on protection of intellectual property rights (Article 25 and Annex VII) 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.
Investment, Services and Government Procurement
The provision on investment (Article 26) mainly refers to investment promotion and contains a review clause (5 years).
Regarding trade in services, the Agreement refers to the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), containing in particular a ¡§most favoured nation¡¨ provision and a review clause in accordance with GATS (Article 27).
The Agreement also includes a provision on public procurement aiming in particular at ensuring transparency and avoiding discrimination (Article 28).
The Agreement ensures the free transfer of payments for current transactions and capital movements (Chapter 5), subject to a provision on balance of payment difficulties, which is based on the respective WTO provisions.
Trade and Sustainable Development
The Parties recognise that economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent. In Chapter 6 they reaffirm their commitment to multilateral environmental and labour agreements and principles and undertake to uphold levels of protection while recognising the right of each Party to establish its own level of environmental and labour protection.
Administration and Dispute Settlement
In Chapter 7, 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 8 contains rules and procedures for the settlement of disputes arising under the Agreement between one or more of the EFTA States and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
|Trade in Goods||Annex I||Excluded Products|
|Annex II||Processed Agricultural Products|
|Annex III||Fish and Other Marine Products|
|Annex IV||Industrial Products|
|Annex V||Trade Facilitation|
|Annex VI||Mandate for a Sub-Committee|
|Annex VII||Protection of Intellectual Property|
|Annex VIII||Transitional Arrangement|
|Rules of Origin and Administrative Cooperation||Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Preferential Rules of Origin|