EFTA-Bosnia and Herzegovina Free Trade Agreement set to enter into force

Published 01-12-2014
Following its ratification by all Parties, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – and Bosnia and Herzegovina will enter into force and become operational on 1 January 2015. The FTA will create new opportunities for economic operators on both sides.

The FTA was signed in Trondheim, Norway, on 24 June 2013. Its focus lies on the liberalisation of trade in goods and enhanced protection of intellectual property rights, as well as trade and sustainable development.

All customs duties on imports of industrial products originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including fish and other marine products, are abolished by the EFTA States as of the date of entry into force of the FTA. Bosnia and Herzegovina likewise abolishes all customs duties on imports of industrial products originating in an EFTA State; apart from sensitive products such as a few fish and other marine products (gradual dismantling for most of these products until 2018 is foreseen).

Bilateral arrangements on agricultural products between the individual EFTA States and Bosnia and Herzegovina also form part of the instruments establishing a free trade area between the Parties. They provide for elimination or reduction of customs duties for selected agricultural products.

The FTA also contains review and transparency clauses regarding services, investment and government procurement. Furthermore it establishes a Joint Committee which supervises and administers the agreement and oversees its further development. And finally it foresees consultation and binding arbitration procedures in case of disputes.

Over the last five years, two-way merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Bosnia and Herzegovina has increased by more than 60%, reaching a value of USD 155 million in 2013.
Not counting their agreements with the European Union, the EFTA States currently have 25 FTAs with a total of 35 partner countries worldwide.

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