The free trade agreement between Serbia and the Eurasian Economic Union has entered into force

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The agreement on free trade between Serbia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) entered into force yesterday, and thus a market of 180 million people was opened for Serbia for about 99% of goods of domestic origin.
Serbia signed an agreement in Moscow on October 25, 2019, with EAEU members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
The new agreement, which has now been extended to two more countries – Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – maintains a high degree of trade liberalization applied under bilateral free trade agreements with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with additional liberalization for exports of domestic products to the EAEU.
One of the significant innovations is that, according to the new Agreement, the condition of the so-called “direct sale” no longer exists for the approval of the free trade regime.
This practically means that according to the new Agreement, goods can be bought and sold on the basis of sales contracts with third parties – intermediaries, while the approval of free trade regime under previous agreements was possible only if the goods were imported or exported under contracts between residents of one or the other side.
For example, in Serbia, a preferential tariff regime can be applied for goods of preferential origin of the Russian Federation, for which, in addition to proof of origin and proof of fulfillment of direct transport conditions, an invoice from a third country is submitted in Serbia, e.g. of the European Union.
The Customs Administration reminds that the goals of the agreement are to expand and improve mutual trade and economic relations, in order to accelerate the economic development of the contracting parties and achieve their production and financial stability, which means, among other things, predictability and transparency of trade transactions.
The Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Tatjana Matic, told Tanjug yesterday that the agreement is very important for Serbia because it opens a market of 180 million people, to which our producers can export under very favorable conditions.
About 90 percent of goods are subject to a duty-free regime
He explains that these favorable conditions, above all, mean that a duty-free regime will apply to about 90 percent of goods, as well as that high quotas have been negotiated for those products that will be subject to customs duties, which can be exported without paying customs duties.
According to her, agricultural producers could benefit the most from this agreement, because they will be able to freely, without any restrictions, export various types of cheese, such as goat, sheep, all types of fruit brandies.
– We have exported them, as well as many types of fruits and vegetables that we exported in the form of raw materials, under the agreements we had with Russia and Belarus, and now we will have a much larger market for these products – Minister Matic stated for Tanjug.
He also states that it was very favorable that we managed to negotiate higher export quotas for certain types of products, such as cigarettes, pure alcohol and some types of cheese.
When it comes to the opinions that could be heard, and according to which this agreement could harm our relations with the European Union, Matic says that she does not see how this agreement could harm the EU and our relations with it.
– Of course, we have special relations with the EU and it is our most important economic partner and it will remain so. This is a new market that was necessary for us and it is important for us for completely different types of products that we place there – says the Minister for Tanjug.
When we become a member of the EU, then maybe they will discuss the topic of whether it is in accordance with European rules or not, but now there is no reason for EU members to look at it that way, Matic explains, BiF reports.