Public statement of the Ministry of Finance concerning the Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community and the Republic of Serbia

The National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia ratified the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the Interim Trade Agreement on September 9, 2008. The SAA and the Interim Agreement were signed in Brussels on April 29, 2008.

The SAA will come into force after its approval by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament and ratification in all the signatory countries, the EU member states. The Interim Agreement will be enacted after it is confirmed by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

The Interim Agreement encompasses the trade-related section of the SAA. It regulates the bilateral trade in industrial and agricultural products and will be applied until the SAA is ratified in all the EU member countries.

The National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia ratified the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the Interim Trade Agreement on September 9, 2008. The SAA and the Interim Agreement were signed in Brussels on April 29, 2008.

The SAA will come into force after its approval by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament and ratification in all the signatory countries, the EU member states. The Interim Agreement will be enacted after it is confirmed by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

The Interim Agreement encompasses the trade-related section of the SAA. It regulates the bilateral trade in industrial and agricultural products and will be applied until the SAA is ratified in all the EU member countries.

The agreement stipulates that the EU and Serbia will gradually establish a bilateral free trade area in line with provisions of the agreement within a maximum of six years after entry into force of the Interim Agreement.

The EU concessions for industrial products originating in Serbia are regulated by Article 5 of the Agreement, which stipulates that customs duties on import of industrial products originating in Serbia and charges having equivalent effect will be abolished immediately after entry into force of the Interim Agreement.

Serbian concessions for industrial products originating in the EU are defined by Article 6 of the Agreement, which stipulates that customs duties on import into Serbia of industrial products originating in the EU listed in Annex I will be progressively reduced and abolished over the transitional period of a maximum of six years. Customs duties on products other than those listed in Annex I will be abolished with coming into force of the Interim Agreement.

Annex I of the Interim Agreement contains lists of sensitive industrial products grouped by degree of sensitivity into: sensitive – List A, highly sensitive – List B and extremely sensitive – List C. The timetable for reduction of customs duties by lists is as follows:

 

Serbia

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

LIST A

70%

40%

0%

0%

0%

0%

LIST B

80%

60%

40%

20%

0%

0%

LIST C

85%

70%

55%

40%

20%

0%

 

The lists were formed on the basis of the following criteria:

1. the existing level of tariff protection,

2. fiscal effects of liberalization,

3. sensitivity of specific industrial sectors and their competitiveness,

4. share in export/import, share in GDP creation,

5. social dimension / the number of persons employed,

6. future privatization process, regional aspect and

7. consultations with representatives of the economy (Serbian Chamber of Commerce).

A – sensitive products (salt; mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; inorganic and organic chemical products; plastics and articles thereof; natural rubber and articles of natural rubber and rubber; wood and articles thereof; paper and cardboard, headgear; articles of stone, plaster, cement, concrete, asbestos and similar materials, glass and articles thereof; articles of iron and steel; miscellaneous articles of base metal; machinery, mechanical appliances; electrical machinery and equipment; snow ploughs, golf carts and similar, carosseries, electric drive work trucks; measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus; clocks and watches; toys).

B – highly sensitive products
(soap; organic surface-active products; miscellaneous chemical products; plastics and articles thereof; natural rubber and
articles of natural rubber and rubber; furskins and artificial fur; articles of furskin; wood and articles thereof; footwear; articles of stone, plaster, cement, concrete, asbestos and similar materials; ceramic products; glass and articles thereof; natural or cultured pearls; articles of iron and steel; copper and articles thereof; aluminum and articles thereof; tools; machinery, mechanical appliances; railway or tram rolling stock; large horsepower tractors, unassembled passenger and cargo vehicles, chassis, carosseries; clocks and watches; furniture; toys)

C – extremely sensitive products (articles of leather; paper and cardboard; footwear; ceramic products; glass and articles thereof; iron and steel and articles thereof; copper and articles thereof; aluminum and articles thereof; electrical machinery and equipment; small horsepower cultivators and tractors, new and used passenger and cargo vehicles, special vehicles, bicycles; arms and ammunition; furniture).

For the purpose of realization of the Interim Agreement, that is, in order to exercise the right to import goods without paying customs duties or by paying reduced customs duties on goods originating in the EU, evidence of origin needs to be submitted to the relevant customs house.