Bosnia and Herzegovina - Country Commercial Guide
Last published date: 2022-08-01


BiH has approximately one million hectares of arable land with farms accounting for approximately half of it, or 500,000 hectares.  Domestically, the sectors with the best available and productive natural resources are fruits and vegetables, livestock, and poultry.  The largest crop is corn, followed by wheat, and potatoes.  The agriculture sector’s share of GDP is approximately eight percent, while it accounts for 20 percent of total employment.  Farms are predominately small and inefficient, and the country remains a net food importer.  In 2021, agri-food imports totaled $20.6 billion, while exports were valued at $552.6 million.  Agricultural products only represent approximately six percent of exports, but account for 15 percent of total imports.  The primary imported food products include grains and grain products, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and meat and dairy products. 

In 2021, total U.S. agricultural and fish export to BiH were valued at $15.5 million 0.7 percent of BiH’s total agricultural and fish imports and consisted of whey protein, tree nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, whiskey), frozen hake, and dried fruits (cranberries).  Total U.S. agricultural and fish imports from BiH were valued at $4.9 million in 2021.  The key exports from BiH were coffee, processed grain products, and alcohol.

Table 1: 2021 U.S.-BiH Bilateral Agricultural Trade

U.S. leading agricultural exports to BiH

BiH leading agricultural exports to the U.S.

Whey protein powder: $6.2 million

Coffee: $1.7 million

Tree nuts: $3.7 million

Bread and pastry products: $1.2 million

Alcohol drinks: $1.7 million

Alcohol drinks: $0.4 million

Hake: $0.7 million

Soft drinks and mineral water: $0.3 million

Cranberries: $0.6 million

Cigarettes: $0.2 million


Most U.S. origin products are shipped to BiH through neighboring countries and therefore may not appear as a U.S. origin import. Actual U.S. exports are likely considerably higher than indicated above.

Table 2: BiH Agri-Food Sector (million $)





2021 (Est.)

2022 (Est.)

Market Size






Local Production


















Total Market Size






Source: BiH Agency for Statistics and the World Bank

Food and Agriculture Import Requirements

BiH has been a potential candidate for EU membership since 2003 and continues to harmonize its regulations with the EU’s Acquis.  Therefore, BiH largely uses EU standards and regulations, including those restrictive to U.S products.  BiH is not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) but has been negotiating for membership and is close to completing that process.

For more information, please see the latest Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) Annual and FAIRS Export Certificate reports.


Despite slow economic growth and weak purchasing power, food expenditures are increasing, and food imports are constantly growing.  Tourism is increasingly seen as an important source of job growth and foreign exchange.  Revenues generated in the lodging and food and beverage sectors have seen an annual average growth of over 17 percent since 2015 and reached $291 million in 2019.  Due to the coronavirus, tourism, transportation, and manufacturing recorded weaker business results in 2020, but started recovering in 2021 due to higher consumption and increased exports.  U.S. export opportunities include U.S. genetics, beef, wine, seafood, confectionary products, dried fruits, and tree nuts.

Agricultural Biotechnology Acceptance: Currently, the Law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) sets the conditions for the limited use, importation, and deliberate release into the environment and marketing of products that are composed of GMOs, contain GMOs, or are derived from GMOs.  Imports of approved biotechnology products are permitted, if approved by the Food Safety Agency.  To date, several feed importers have received permits to market soybean meal.  A GMO-free certificate or a GMO-related statement is often required as part of the import process for grains and similar products.

There is no policy on the import, labeling, and traceability of biotech animals and clones, including animal genetics.  However, as part of its EU accession aspirations, BiH continues to harmonize its sanitary and phytosanitary requirements with EU regulations


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides information to buyers looking for U.S. agricultural genetics, bulk and processed commodities, food, and beverage products.  FAS also gathers market information and offers market briefs to help U.S. firms better understand the local market.  For more information on the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service please visit the U.S. Embassy Sarajevo’s FAS website.

For more information on food import requirements and certification, please see:

Exporter Guide

Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) Country Report

FAIRS Export Certificate Report 


For other FAS reports on specific commodities, please see the following websites:

Global Agricultural Information Network