Serbia

Serbia

Signature

The EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement with Serbia in Geneva, Switzerland, on 17 December 2009.

 

Entry into force

1 October 2010 for Serbia, Liechtenstein and Switzerland; 1 June 2011 for Norway; 1 October 2011 for Iceland.



Summary

The main focus of the Free Trade Agreement is the liberalisation of trade in goods. EFTA abolishes all customs duties on Serbian industrial products, including fish and other marine products, as of the entry into force of the Agreement. Serbia gradually dismantles its customs duties for imports of industrial products from the EFTA States until 2014. Additional agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA States and Serbia form an integral part of the instruments establishing the free trade area.

 

Statistics

For EFTA-Serbia trade statistics, please visit this page.

The Content of the Agreement

The Agreement consists of a total of 45 Articles, seven Annexes and two Protocols. The Agreement covers the following main subjects:

  • Trade in Goods
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investment, services and Government Procurement
  • Administration and 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 Serbia. Serbia gradually dismantles its customs duties on such products [1] originating in the EFTA States by 2014 (industrial products: Annex III; fish and other marine products: Annex II). This regime ensures equal treatment of imports into Serbia from the EU and the EFTA States.

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 Serbia. 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, Serbia and the other “Pan-Euro-Med” member countries once the respective agreements are in place between those countries and Serbia.

The Agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex IV). 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.

 

Intellectual Property

The provisions on protection of intellectual property rights (Chapter 3 and Annex VI) 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 provisions on investment (Article 25) 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 26).

The Agreement also includes a provision on public procurement aiming in particular at ensuring transparency and avoiding discrimination (Article 27).

 

Administration and Dispute Settlement

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 Serbia.

[1] With one exception: customs duties on live carps of subheading 0301 93 00 will be reduced to 18% by 2014.

Senior Officer
Trade Relations Division
Geneva

+41 223322 636