North Macedonia

The EFTA States signed a Free Trade Agreement with North Macedonia in Zürich, Switzerland, on 19 June 2000. The Agreement entered into force on 1 May 2002.

The Free Trade Agreement covers trade in industrial products as well as fish and marine products. The transitional period ends ten years after the entry into force of the Agreement. In addition, bilateral agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA countries and North Macedonia have been concluded which form part of the instruments creating the free trade area.

Among the objectives of the Agreement (Article 1) are to promote, through the expansion of reciprocal trade, the harmonious development of economic relations between the Parties. The Agreement includes provisions relating to the elimination of customs duties and other trade barriers as well as other trade-related disciplines such as rules of competition, protection of intellectual property, public procurement, state monopolies, state aid, and payments and transfers. Under the Agreement a Joint Committee is established which supervises the Agreement.

Content of the Free Trade Agreement

The Agreement consists of 41 Articles, six Annexes, four Protocols and a Record of Understanding. The Agreement covers the following main subjects:


Trade in Goods

Industrial Goods

The Agreement provides for effective market access for industrial goods in terms of tariffs and rules of origin, creating EFTA and EU parity for EFTA exports to North Macedonia. All industrial goods originating in the EFTA States now enjoy duty free access into North Macedonia (Article 4 and Annex III).

Fish and marine products

The Agreement covers trade in all fish and other marine products (Article 2 and Annex II). The EFTA States grant duty free access on imports of all North Macedonian fish products, while remaining North Macedonian tariffs on certain fish products have now been brought down to zero.

Agricultural products

Trade in agricultural products is covered in three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the respective EFTA State (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein) and North Macedonia.

They provide for substantial concessions on both sides, while taking into account the respective sensitivities. Each agreement contains specific rules of origin, generally based on the “wholly-obtained” criteria.


Rules of Origin

The rules of origin for industrial goods (Protocol B) concerning the definition of the concept of originating products and the methods for administrative cooperation, are based on the current pan-European model, maintaining the general structure and the substance of the European standard rules. The specific list rules (Annex II to Protocol B) are also based on the current pan- European model.


Protection of Intellectual Property (IPR)

The provisions on protection of intellectual property rights (Article 16 and Annex V) covers, inter alia, patents, trademarks and copyright and geographical indications.

The level of protection in certain areas goes beyond what is stipulated under the WTO Agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property, taking into account the principles of most favoured nation treatment and of national treatment.


Public Procurement

The Article on public procurement (Article 15) contains a review clause with a view to further liberalisation of the public procurement markets in the Partner countries.



Regarding competition (Article 17), the Agreement includes provisions on cooperation and exchange of information with the aim of ensuring and facilitating the enforcement of the Parties' respective competition laws.


Institutional Provisions

A Joint Committee comprising the EFTA States and North Macedonia supervises the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (Articles 29 and 30).


Dispute Settlement

Consultations are the fundamental mechanism of dispute settlement between the FTA partners. The Agreement implies that the Parties are to endeavour to solve any differences between them on the interpretation and application of the agreement by direct consultations, and, if need be, through consultations in the Joint Committee. For cases where the consultations do not led to a satisfactory solution, the Parties may revert to arbitration (Article 31). Annex VI governs the constitution and functioning of the tribunal. 

Bilateral Agreements on Agriculture
Joint Committee Decisions
Decision Subject Adopted Entry into force
No. 1/2021 Amending Protocol B 23.07.2021 01.04.2022
No. 4/2008 Protocol B 28.11.2008 01.10.2010
No. 3/2008 Annex I 28.11.2008 01.06.2010
No. 2/2008 Protocol A 28.11.2008 01.06.2010
No. 1/2008 Annex II 28.11.2008 01.06.2010
No. 8/2003 Amendment to Protocol B 30.05.2003 30.05.2003
No. 7/2003 Amendment to Protocol A 30.05.2003 06.12.2003
No. 6/2003 Annex IV 30.05.2003 06.12.2003
No. 5/2003 Annex III 30.05.2003 06.12.2003
No. 4/2003 Annex II 30.05.2003 06.12.2003
No. 3/2003 Annex I 30.05.2003 06.12.2003
No. 2/2003 Establishment of a Sub-Committee on Customs and Origin Matters 30.05.2003 30.05.2003
No. 1/2003 Rules of Procedure of the Joint Committee 08.05.2003 08.05.2003


Joint Declaration on Cooperation

For EFTA-North Macedonia trade statistics, see EFTA Trade Statistics Tool

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