The EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement with Ukraine in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 24 June 2012.
Entry into force
1 June 2012.
The EFTA-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement has a comprehensive coverage, including trade in goods (industrial and processed agricultural goods, fish and other marine products), trade in services, investment, protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement and provisions on competition.
Bilateral arrangements on agricultural products between the individual EFTA States and Ukraine also form part of the instruments establishing the free trade area between both sides.
One year after the entry into force of the EFTA-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, delegations from the EFTA States and Ukraine convened in Kyiv on 29 May 2013 to assess the implementation of the new framework.
The Free Trade Agreement between the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - and Ukraine entered into force on 1 June 2012. Together, the Parties promoted trade from Ukraine to the EFTA markets at an event on 9 October 2012 in Kyiv.
Reykjavik - 24 June 2010 - Ministers from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - and Ukraine signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today. The FTA will further enhance the economic ties and promote trade and investment between the two sides.
The second Meeting of the Joint EFTA-Ukraine Committee was held in Geneva on November 16. At the meeting, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Ukraine discussed their current co-operation under the Declaration and explored ways to deepen and extend it.
Content of the Agreement
The main Agreement consists of 10 Chapters, 15 Annexes and a Protocol covering the following subjects:
Trade in Goods
Intellectual Property Rights
Trade in Goods
Industrial goods originating in Ukraine, including fish and other marine products, will benefit from duty-free access to the markets of the EFTA States as of the entry into force of the Agreement (Chapter 2). For such products originating in the EFTA States and imported into Ukraine, most customs duties will be zero from the entry into force as well, while the majority of the others will progressively be dismantled over transitional periods of up to 10 years (Annexes III and IV).
The rules of origin and the methods of administrative cooperation set out in the Protocol on Rules of Origin and its seven Appendices are based on the Pan2 Euro-Mediterranean model text. This will allow for cumulation of materials originating in the EFTA States, Ukraine and the other “Pan-Euro-Med” member countries once the respective agreements are in place between those countries and Ukraine.
The Agreement provides for tariff concessions on processed agricultural products (Annex II). Tariff concessions on basic agricultural products are covered by the bilateral agricultural agreements, which are part of the instruments establishing a free trade area between the Parties.
The Agreement includes provisions on trade facilitation (Annex V). Furthermore, it includes provisions on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical regulations, state trading enterprises, subsidies, trade remedies and exceptions, in conformity with the relevant WTO Agreements.
The Chapter on trade in services (Chapter 3) closely follows the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It covers trade in all services sectors under all four modes of supply, with the exception of air traffic. Separate annexes on financial services (Annex IX) and on telecommunications services (Annex X) complement the Chapter with additional disciplines that are of specific relevance to these sectors. The Parties’ specific commitments and MFN Exemptions are contained in Annexes VII and VIII respectively.
Chapter 4 aims to improve the legal framework conditions for investors from EFTA and Ukraine investing in each other’s markets in sectors not covered by the chapter on trade in services. The Agreement provides both for nondiscriminatory market access for direct investments and for fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of existing investments. For a few areas, the Parties have lodged reservations based on restrictions in their national legislation (Annexes XI and XII).
Intellectual Property Rights
The Agreement contains a comprehensive Chapter and Annex on intellectual property rights (Chapter 5 and Annex XIII) covering all fields of IPR as well as measures relating to enforcement. The Chapter is based on the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and includes certain improvements and clarifications with respect to TRIPS.
The Agreement provides for access to the Parties’ government procurement markets on a reciprocal basis. While the principles can be found in Chapter 6, more detailed provisions are contained in Annex XIV and the list of covered entities, thresholds and other country-specific provisions in Annex XV.
The relevant provisions stipulate what procedures must be followed by government entities which are procuring goods, services and construction services above a certain threshold. The provisions are closely aligned with the revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, adapted to reflect the specific interests of the Parties.
The Parties recognise that anti-competitive business practices have the potential to undermine the benefits of liberalisation arising from the Agreement and highlight the importance to cooperate on issues relating to competition law enforcement (Article 7).
Institutional Provisions and Dispute Settlementreview of the Agreement
The Agreement establishes a Joint Committee, which supervises and administers the Agreement and oversees its further development (Chapter 8). The Joint Committee may take decisions in cases provided for by the Agreement and make recommendations in other matters.
Chapter 9 contains rules and procedures for the settlement of disputes arising from the Agreement between one or more EFTA States and Ukraine.
Review of the Agreement
The Parties will review the Agreement within three years after the entry into force of the Agreement to examine the possibility of further developing and deepening their cooperation. The review will, inter alia, take into account developments in international economic relations in the framework of the WTO and free trade relations with third countries (Article 10.3).