Albania

Relation: 

The EFTA States signed a Free Trade Agreement with Albania in Geneva, Switzerland, on 17 December 2009. The Agreement entered into force on 1 November 2010 for Albania, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, 1 August 2011 for Norway and 1 October 2011 for Iceland.

Summary

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.

Content of the Free Trade Agreement

The Agreement consists of 43 Articles, five Annexes and three Protocols. The Agreement covers the following main subjects:

Trade in Goods

Industrial Goods and Fish and marine products

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).

Agricultural Products

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.

Rules of Origin

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.

Trade Facilitation 

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

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical regulations are dealt with in Chapter 2 and refer to WTO law.

Trade Remedies

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.

Trade in Services

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).

Investment/Establishment

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). 

Protection of Intellectual Property (IPR)

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 favored nation treatment and of national treatment.

Government Procurement

The Agreement also includes a provision on public procurement aiming in particular at ensuring transparency and avoiding discrimination (Article 26).

Competition

The Agreement contains a provision on rules of competition concerning undertakings and defines decisions and practices which are incompatible with the proper functioning of the Agreement, which apply to the activities of public undertakings and undertakings for which the Parties grand special or exclusive rights. The Joint Committee is tasked with the examination of a case, should there be one. 

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 their levels of protection. Arbitration procedures do not apply to this Chapter.

Institutional Provisions

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.

Dispute Settlement

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.

Annexes and Record of Understanding
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    

 

Bilateral Agreements on Agriculture

Agricultural Agreements  

Iceland

Norway

Switzerland

 

Joint Committee Decisions
Decision Subject Adopted Entry into force
 2013
No. 1/2013 Rules of Procedure (amended according to the Protocol amending the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the EFTA States signed on 18 September 2015 (eif 1 June 2017)) 05.02.2015 05.02.2015

 

Joint Declaration on Cooperation
Statistics

For EFTA-Albania trade statistics, see EFTA Trade Statistics Tool

Officer
Trade Relations Division

+41 223322 643

Legal Notes on the EEA Agreement