Logistics and FTAs are only some of the reasons to locate your business in Serbia.
Externally, Serbia can serve as a manufacturing hub for duty-free exports to a market of 1 billion people that includes the European Union, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Turkey, South East Europe, the European Free Trade Agreement members, and Belarus.
This customs-free regime covers most key industrial products, with only a few exceptions and annual quotas for a limited number of goods.
Upon the completion of negotiations with Egypt, the territory with duty-free access for Serbian products will expand by an additional 77 million people.
Exports to the European Union market are free-of-customs according to the Stabilization and Association Agreement. For several food products (baby beef, sugar, and wine) export quantities are limited by annual quotas.
Imports from the E.U. are pursued based on the Interim Trade Agreement, as part of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, providing for progressive abolishment of import customs duties for industrial and certain agricultural products from E.U. countries by 2014.
Trade with the United States is pursued under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). U.S. trade benefits provide for preferential duty-free entry for app. 4,650 products, including most finished and semi-finished goods and selected agricultural and primary industrial products. Certain sensitive goods (e.g. most textile products, leather goods, and footwear) are not eligible for duty-free exports. The list of eligible goods is reviewed and adjusted twice per year, with input from U.S. industries.
For the full list of goods eligible for GSP treatment log on to: www.ustr.gov
The Free Trade Agreement with Russian Federation, signed in August 2000, makes Serbia particularly attractive to foreign investors in the manufacturing sector. The Agreement stipulates that goods produced in Serbia, i.e. which have at least 51% value added in the country, are considered of Serbian origin and exported to Russian Federation customs free. For exports to Russian Federation, the FORM CT2 Certificate is required as a proof of goods origin. The only tariff charged is the customs record keeping tariff, amounting to a 1% value.
The list of products, excluded from the Free Trade Agreement, is revised annually. In 2011, the list of excluded products was extended to the following goods: poultry and edible waste, some sorts of cheese, white sugar, sparkling wine, ethyl-alcohol, cigars and cigarettes, cotton yarn and fabric, special woven fabrics, some types of compressors, tractors and new and used passenger cars.
For the protocol between the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation, click here
The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is the trade agreement between the following countries in South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission (UNMIK) in Kosovo. The Agreement has been in effect as of July 2007, providing companies in Serbia with an opportunity to reach the 29 million people market free-of-customs.
CEFTA envisages the abolishment of customs restrictions for industrial and agricultural products in the CEE countries by 2010. In addition, the Agreement stipulates accumulation of products origin, meaning that products exported from Serbia are considered of the Serbian origin if integrated materials originate from any other CEFTA country, the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland (including Liechtenstein) or Turkey, provided that such products have undergone sufficient processing (if the value added there is greater than the value of the materials used in Serbia). For exports to the member countries of CEFTA, the EUR 1 Certificate is required as a proof of goods origin.
For the full version of the Agreement log on to: www.stabilitypact.org
Trade between Serbia and Turkey is regulated upon the model implemented in trade with the European Union. Industrial products originating in Serbia can be exported to Turkey without paying customs duties. Imports of industrial products into Serbia are generally customs-free, but for a large number of goods customs duties will be progressively abolished over a six-year period, ending in 2015.
For trade in agricultural products customs duties remain in effect, with certain Most Favored Nation reductions for a number of products.
Industrial products exported from Serbia to EFTA member states (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) are exempted from paying customs duties, except for a very limited number of goods, including fish and other marine products. Customs duties for imports of industrial products originating in EFTA states will be gradually abolished by 2014.
Trade in agricultural products is regulated by separate agreements with each of EFTA members, providing for mutual concessions for specified products. These agreements will enable the export of Serbian products customs free to a market of 13 million people and will be active within the next couple of months.
The Free Trade Agreement with Belarus envisages the mutual abolishment of customs and non-customs duties in trade between the two countries. There are only a few exceptions to the Agreement, including sugar, alcohol, and cigarettes, as well as used cars, buses, and tires.
Internally, with 7.5 million people, the Serbian market is the 2nd largest in South East Europe. The average net monthly salary rose from merely €194 in 2004 to €402 in 2008. Coupled with rapid consumer loan expansion, this fueled a sharp increase in local demand that was particularly reflected in a double-digit surge in retail trade turnover on an annual basis.
In response to expanding local demand, international retail chains have opened up dozens of new stores across the country. By illustration, from 2004 to 2009 total retail and wholesale foreign investment reached more than €1.6 billion.
A Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and Kazakhstan was signed on the 7th of October 2010 and came into force in January 2011.
The FTA states that the parties will not charge customs duties, fees and charges with equivalent effect for products originating in one party and intended for the market of the other party. Exceptions were made for the products listed in the annexes, which are an integral part of the agreements. The products listed in annexes are subject to customs duties, fees and charges with equivalent effect in accordance with the parties’ national legislations (at the rates specified by national customs tariffs).
For the rules of FTA to be applied, it is necessary to submit the original certificate determining the country of origin of the product (Form CT-2) to the Customs of the importing country.
This Free Trade Agreement was concluded in order to improve and deepen mutual trade and economic ties between the two countries. Due to its positive effects, Serbian goods attract more buyers not only from Kazakhstan, but also from the Russian Federation and Belarus, as well as potential investors who are interested in opening their production in Serbia.