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EAEU and Serbia signed Free Trade Agreement

EAEU and Serbia signed Free Trade Agreement

10/25/2019

A Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Republic of Serbia was signed at the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (EIC) on October 25. The document was signed by Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), Prime Ministers of the Union as well as Ana Brnabic, Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

 

This new Trade Agreement not only fully harmonizes trading conditions of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia with Serbia, they have already had bilateral free trade agreements with, but also creates a similar regime for the Armenian and Kyrgyz goods, which had no preferences when accessing the Serbian market. 

 

"Serbia has Trade Agreements with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are getting involved. We are implementing an important function– we unify the preferential trade regime for all Union countries. This Agreement will give a new impetus to expanding trade and economic cooperation with Serbia", – Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the EEC Board, explained.

 

During the negotiations, it was managed to significantly update the regulatory part of the Agreement, which included the most modern legal innovations, especially in terms of applying protective measures, dispute resolution and rules of origin.

 

First of all, the agreements reached open a fundamentally new market for goods from Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – with immediate duty-free access to the vast volume of export goods, and, secondly, create new export opportunities for producers from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia", – Veronika Nikishina, Minister of Trade of the EEC, added.

 

The agreements reached contain economic benefits for the Union countries and Serbia both in the immediate future, based on instant savings in customs duties for current exports, and in the medium term – in view of implementing export opportunities in the context of expanding the free trade regime. 

 

"Each country of the Union will benefit from new possibilities to increase exports to Serbia. For Armenia, such potential lies in increasing export of goods of traditional export interest – hard liquor and cigarettes, food and agricultural products. For Kyrgyzstan, it lies in supplying vegetable and processed agricultural products, for example, beans, nuts and honey. For Belarus, we see a prospect in increasing exports of vodka, fruit and bitter tinctures as well as balms and liquors. The Kazakh companies have the possibility to push up sales of processed cheeses and strong alcoholic beverages to Serbia, while the Russian companies can increase the wide range of goods from stop valves to sanitary mixers for home", – Veronika Nikishina, Minister of the EEC, commented tariff agreements with the Serbian partners.

 

In addition to tariff obligations, the Agreement provides a volume of legal innovations designed to guarantee the stability, predictability and transparency of trade operations. 

 

Nowadays Serbia is not the WTO member, and, therefore, such provisions, jointly with the modern institution of dispute resolution and trade interests, are quite relevant for all Union States.

 

For example, the agreements reached with the Serbian partners determine a set of obligations to comply with international standards on applying licensing procedures; prohibitions and quantitative restrictions; technical regulation and sanitary and phytosanitary measures; fees associated with customs formalities "at the border" and the use of anti-dumping, countervailing and special protective measures and protection of intellectual property rights. 

 

During the negotiations, it was managed to significantly update the regulatory part of the Agreement, compared to bilateral Agreements with Serbia currently available in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, having ensured reasonable consideration of current trends and practices", – Veronika Nikishina summed up.​