Bosnia and Herzegovina - Country Commercial Guide
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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 2022, agri-food imports totaled $2.4 billion, while exports were valued at $582 million.  Agricultural products 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), meat, and dairy products.

In 2022, total U.S. agricultural and fish exports to BiH were valued at $15.5 million (one percent of BiH’s total agricultural and fish imports) and included various food preparations, tree nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts), whiskey, frozen hake, and peanuts.  Total U.S. agricultural and fish imports from BiH were valued at $5.5 million in 2022.  The key exports from BiH were processed grain products, coffee, sunflower oil, and alcohol.

 Table 1: 2022 U.S.-BiH Bilateral Agricultural Trade
U.S. leading agricultural exports to BiHBiH leading agricultural exports to the U.S.
Food preparations: $4.4 millionBread and pastry products: $1.4 million
Tree nuts: $4.2 millionCoffee: $1.3 million
Alcoholic drinks: $2.1 millionSunflower oil: $0.9 million
Seafood: $0.7 millionAlcoholic drinks: $0.5 million
Peanuts: $0.5 millionMineral water: $0.4 million


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


 Table 2: BiH Agri-Food Sector (million $)
Year20192020202120222023 (est.)
Market Size2,8932,7743,0083,2903,500
Local Production1,4801,4441,5001,4701,500
Total Market Size2,8932,7743,0083,2903,500

Source: BiH Agency for Statistics and the World Bank

Food and Agriculture Import Requirements

BiH has been a candidate for EU membership since December 2022 and is in the process of harmonizing its regulations with the EU’s acquis.  BiH largely follows EU standards and regulations, including those restrictive to U.S products.  BiH is not yet a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Customs tariffs for agricultural products range from 0, 5, 10, and 15 percent with an additional charge for some agricultural products based on unit weight, in KM /kg ranging from KM 0.08 ($0.05) /per unit to KM 6.00 ($3.5) /per unit (for product specific tariff information, please check the following link: BiH Customs Tariff Book).  These tariffs can make it difficult for U.S.-origin agricultural products to compete with products from the EU or neighboring countries.  BiH is a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) which includes Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo.   Following the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and BiH in June 2008, custom duties for most agricultural and food products were either abolished or gradually phased out until January 1, 2013, except for certain meat products, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and sugar.  In September 2016, BiH and the EU initialed the Protocol on Trade to the SAA that was adapted to reflect Croatian EU membership in July 2013.  The adapted EU-BiH SAA that entered into force on February 1, 2017, supported unlimited duty-free access for BiH fruits and vegetables and opened higher quotas for fish and wine coming from BiH into the EU market.  On the other side, BiH established higher duty-free quotas for sugar, cigarettes, beef, pork, milk, poultry products, and potatoes imported from the EU. 

Live Animals and Animal Products

According to the BiH Veterinary Law, imports of food stuffs, raw materials and products, animal feed, veterinary medicines, and waste shall be authorized only if the establishment of origin complies with the prescribed conditions and are registered with the EU.  The State Veterinary Office (SVO) may also authorize imports from other establishments if the regulations, standards, production methods, and supervision carried out by the exporting country are recognized as being at least equivalent to the regulations of BiH and the country guarantees at least equivalent consumer protections.  Exporting facilities need to register a single time with the SVO before they can export to BiH for the first time.  Although U.S. regulations, standards, production methods, and supervision have been recognized by the SVO as equivalent or better, U.S. exports encounter the following restrictions mainly based on the adoption of requirements modelled on the EU acquis:


U.S. pork produced using ractopamine, a feed additive that promotes feed efficiency in pigs and certain other livestock, cannot be imported into BiH despite meeting U.S. government and Codex standards.  Ractopamine was reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and efficacy and has been approved for use in cattle, swine, and turkey in the United States.  Codex Alimentarius, the international food safety standard-setting-body, has recommended Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for ractopamine in beef and pork.


U.S. beef raised using growth-promoting hormones cannot be imported into BiH, although the scientific evidence clearly indicates that meat produced from animals properly treated with growth promoting hormones and other substances is safe for consumers.


Chlorine-treated chicken cannot be imported into BiH.  This procedure is referred to as Pathogen Reduction Treatments-PRTs in the United States, and has been approved by the U.S. Department of

Agriculture (USDA) for use in poultry processing to reduce the number of microbes on meat.

Planting Seeds

The National List of Recognized Varieties (BiH Official Gazette #59/10) is available at the Plant Health Administration or online: BiH Variety List (in local language only).  If a variety is not on the list, importers can request its recognition from the State-Level Joint Seeds Recognition Commission. 

Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcoholic beverages, nonalcoholic beverages, and tobacco products are subject to specific taxation rules and require an import license issued by the Indirect Tax Administration (ITA).  The ITA issues and controls excise stamps, which are to be included in the packaging prior to export to BiH.


Based on the 2009 Law on GMOs, BiH permits the licensed use of biotech and genetically engineered (GE) products.  To date, the first and only GE product approved for import is GE soybean meal for feed.  BiH does not produce biotech crops and there are no biotechnology crops under development in BiH.  BiH’s anti-GE border practices, which include random testing, can occasionally influence commercial imports of grains.  Imported foods that contain soy, corn, or rice are often tested for GMO presence.  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.

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.  Top U.S. export opportunities include U.S. genetics, beef, wine, seafood, confectionary products, dried fruits, and tree nuts.

The Unites States and BiH have negotiated and adopted bilateral certificates for certain animal products such as hides, pet food, and fishery products that can be found at the following link: Animal Products to BiH..


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