Bosnia - Trade AgreementsBosnia - Trade Agreements
In December 2006, BiH signed the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which became operational in November 2007. The regional trade group consists of Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Serbia.
In June 2008, BiH signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union, an important step towards EU membership. The Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) officially entered into force on June 1, 2015. The most important part of the SAA is the establishment of a free trade zone between BiH and the European Union, allowing for the mutual abolishment of custom tariffs and quantity limitations in mutual exchange of goods between BiH and the EU. The entry into force of the SAA should increase the confidence of investors, domestic and international in the country. It will allow both Bosnian companies and EU companies to access their respective markets. This is conducive to enhanced business opportunities for both the EU and the BiH based companies. The SAA should also encourage further development of competitiveness among the country’s exporters and increase investment and employment.
Trade in Agriculture and Food Products
With Croatia’s accession to the EU on July 1, 2013, Croatia lost its privileged CEFTA access and the following key products began to be subject to duties ranging from 5 to 35 percent: dairy, meat products, fruits, vegetables, and sugar. At the same time, BiH lost access to the Croatian market for its animal products that did not have EU recognition (everything except processed fish, animal skins, honey, and dairy products). Valued at $40 million (60 million KM) in 2012, these products represent around 27 percent of BiH’s agro-food exports to Croatia. Most plant origin exports continued uninterrupted, except for certain plant materials (i.e., grape vine seedlings, corn and vegetable seeds, and some citrus). In September 2016, BiH and the EU initialed the Protocol on Trade to the SAA that was adapted to reflect Croatia’s EU membership as of July 2013. The adapted SAA provides for unlimited, duty-free access for BiH fruits and vegetables and allows higher quotas for fish and wine from BiH into the EU market. In return, BiH established higher duty-free quotas for sugar, cigarettes, beef, pork, milk, poultry products, and potatoes imported from the EU. BiH started implementing the adapted SAA on February 1, 2017, while the EU is undergoing the process of changing EU regulations at the European Commission.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was designated as a beneficiary country under the United States Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, under which more than 3,400 products are eligible for duty-free entry to the United States. The GSP program provided an incentive for investors to produce in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On March 23, 2018, President Trump signed legislation reauthorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program through December 31, 2020. Between 2010 and 2016, BiH exported to the U.S. over $26 million worth of goods eligible for the GSP program.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Trade Development and Promotion Trade Agreements