In order to facilitate larger scale of trade in goods with other markets as well as trade liberalization and increased investments under favourable market conditions, Serbia has concluded trade agreements with countries that are among its major trading partners. The free trade agreements concluded and implemented in Serbia so far are as follows:
- Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community and the Republic of Serbia,
- Agreement on Amendment of and Accession to Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA 2006),
- Agreements with Russia, Belarus and Turkey, as well as
- Free Trade Agreement with EFTA countries, implemented since 1 October 2010 for Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Serbia,since 1 June 2011 between Serbia and Norway, and still not being implemented between Serbia and Iceland.
In accordance with the prescribed procedure, Serbia started implementing CEFTA on 24 October 2007. CEFTA 2006 opened new areas of development of mutual economic relations with regard to liberalisation of trade in services, investment, public procurement, intellectual property rights. CEFTA implementation provides for the opportunity of applying diagonal cumulation of origin of goods (in trade between the countries of the region and the region with the EU), which will strongly encourage export and investment potentials of the region, development of its technological capacities and competitiveness, and thus also the necessary level of product quality for placement on the EU market as well as on international markets.
In accordance with the provisions of the Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community, of the one part, and the Republic of Serbia, of the other part, which came into force on 1 February 2010, customs duties on industrial products originating in Serbia and imported in the Community were abolished.
Customs duties on import into Serbia of industrial products originating in the Community, except those listed in Annex I, were abolished upon the entry into force of this Agreement, while customs duties on importation into Serbia of industrial products originating in the Community listed in Annex I are to be phased out in accordance with the timetable set out in the Annex, and within 6 years at the longest.
On coming into force of this Agreement the Community and Serbia mutually abolished all quantity restrictions for import and export of industrial products originating from Serbia and the European Community, as well as the measures with the same effect.
As of the day of entry into force of this Agreement, the Community abolished all quantitative restrictions and measures with equivalent effect for imports of agricultural products originating in Serbia, and also abolished all customs duties and charges with equivalent effect on imports of agricultural products originating in Serbia, except for those of headings 0102, 0201, 0202, 1701, 1702 and 2204 of the Combined Nomenclature. Accordingly, the European Community granted preferential quotas for annual imports of baby beef products (8,700 tons), sugar (180,000 tons) and wine (63,000 hectoliters) originating from Serbia.
Since entry into force of this Agreement, Serbia is obliged to:
a) eliminate all quantitative restrictions and measures with equivalent effect on imports of most agricultural products originating in the Community;
b) eliminate all import duties on agricultural products originating in the Community listed in Annex III;
c) phase out customs duties applicable on imports of agricultural products originating in the Community that are listed in Annex III (b) in accordance with the timetable specified for each product in the Annex;
d) phase down customs duties applicable on imports of certain agricultural products originating in the Community listed in Annex III (v) and (g), in accordance with the timetable specified for each product in these Annexes.
In accordance with the agreements that Serbia concluded with Russia and Belarus, the parties thereto will not charge customs duties, fees and charges with the same effect on products originating from one Party and intended for the market of the other Party. Exceptions were made for the products listed in the Annexes that are integral parts of the Agreements. The products listed in the Annexes are subject to customs duties, fees and charges with the same effect in accordance with the parties’ national legislations (at the rates specified by national customs tariffs). It should be noted that rules on determining the origin of goods provided by agreements with Russia and Belarus differ from the rules laid by CEFTA and the Interim Trade Agreement with the EU.