Serbian market includes 7.2 million consumers. Due to free trade agreements, tax-free goods can be exported from Novi Sad to the markets of southeastern Europe (CEFTA), EFTA, Russia, Belarus, Turkey and Kazakhstan, which is about 280 million consumers. If one adds to this number the preferential terms of trade with the EU and the USA, it can be concluded that the total export potential is over a billion consumers!
Serbia is a member of CEFTA, a free trade zone in southeastern Europe, which enables tax-free access to a market of 22 million consumers. Members of CEFTA: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYROM), Moldavia, Montenegro and Serbia.
Furthermore, Serbia has a Free Trade Agreement with European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which allows tax-free access to the market of 8 million consumers. EFTA countries include: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Free trade treaties with Russia and Belarus enable a tax-free access to the market of 155 million consumers. These treaties enable Serbian companies and foreign investors that produce in Serbia, tax-free export of goods, to the markets that have over 155 million consumers (146 million in Russia and over 9 million in Belarus).
The Free Trade Agreement between Serbia and Turkey was signed on June 2009, and as of 1st September 2010 it has been applied according to the model of asymmetrical liberalization of trade in favor of the Serbian side. This represents a chance for Serbian exporters to export their goods tax-free to Turkey, to the market of 75 million inhabitants, and at the same time to acquire raw materials and semi-products that can be processed in Serbia and distributed to the EU, Turkey and CEFTA countries without taxes or preferential taxes.
The Free Trade Agreement of Serbia and Kazakhstan was signed on 7th October 2010 and it is temporarily applied as of 1st January 2011. This Agreement is intended to enhance and deepen mutual trade and economic cooperation.
Serbia has preferential conditions of trade with the EU and the USA which enables tax- free export of certain goods manufactured in Serbia to these markets.
Foreign trade with the United States is largely carried out under the General System of Preferences (GSP) program granting trade privileges, which were initially granted to Serbia on 1st July 2005. The GSP program provides preferential tax-free treatment for more than 4.650 products, while the product list is analyzed and changed twice a year with the participation of the U.S. manufacturers.
The complete list of products included in the GSP program can be found on the website of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States – HTSUS at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/, while the simplified overview of products included in GSP can downloaded at:
The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and Interim Trade Agreement were signed on 29th April 2008 in Brussels, and ratified by the Serbian Parliament on 9th September 2008. As of 1st February 2009 Serbia had been unilaterally implementing the Interim Trade Agreement, a year before its implementation was approved in the EU. It consists mainly of the trade provisions of the SAA. The start of the ratification was approved in June 2010, and on 19th January 2011 the European Parliament ratified the SAA. However, the SAA enters into force only after the ratification by all Member States, which submit their ratification instrument to the EU Council of Ministers, which has so far been done by 24 of 27 EU Member States, while the Interim Trade Agreement has been applied in the meantime.
SAA creates the free trade zone between Serbia and the EU in the interim period of six years. Serbia's obligation consists in the gradual abolition of customs taxes on goods originating in the European Union in the interim period. On the other hand, by this Agreement the European Union confirms free access to goods from Serbia to the EU market.
For additional information, please visit the following web addresses:
Ministry of Finance Customs Administration
Development Agency of Serbia