The Republic of Serbia is in the process of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the majority of national regulations is harmonised with the WTO rules and principles.
Foreign trade regime is governed by the Law on Foreign Trade Transactions (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 36/09), which is harmonized with the WTO rules and principles and the European Union (EU) legislation.
Foreign trade in arms, military equipment and dual use goods is governed by a special law.
Foreign trade is free and may be restricted only in exceptional cases, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Foreign Transactions and WTO rules and principles. In that regard, the Government, upon the proposal of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development or other competent authority, may prescribe measures applying to imports and exports of goods for the purposes of protection of public morals, human, animal or plant life and health, artistic, historic or archaeological treasures, artistic, historic or archaeological treasures, non-renewable natural resources, environment, natural rarities and endangered plant and animal species, implementation of specific rules of trade in gold and silver, as well as compliance with obligations derived from international agreements and conventions.
If such a measure provides for obtaining a specific document as a condition for import, export or transit of goods, the list of such goods are to be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia. The Decision on Determining Goods Subject to Issuance of Specific Documents on Importation, Exportation and Transit (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 58/11) provides lists of goods subject to these measures, according to the authorities competent for issuing such documents.
Relevant ministries or competent authorities specify the procedure for issuing such documents.
Chemicals are imported and exported in line with the Law on Chemicals (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, Nos 36/09 and 88/10) and the Law on Ratification of Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. Import and export of a substance subject to restrictions or prohibition of production, placing on the market and use, as well as for certain mixtures and products containing such substance, are subject to prior information procedure, or to the procedure of granting consent based on prior information provided.
The Republic of Serbia has a limited number of prohibitions related to the importation of: hazardous waste, specific chemicals, certain substances depleting the ozone layer, protected wild plant and animal species, etc., in line with international conventions.
Tariff system in Serbia is harmonised with the EU HS 2011, and the level of customs duties is prescribed by the Law on Customs Tariff (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, Nos 62/05, 61/07 and 5/09).
Preferential trade regime applies to EU member states, CEFTA 2006 signatories, EFTA countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway), Belarus, Russia and Turkey.