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, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Serbia.
In June 2008, BiH signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union, an important step toward 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. 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.
BiH was designated as a beneficiary country under the United States Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program through December 31, 2020. Between 2013 and 2020, BiH exported to the U.S. over $50 million worth of goods eligible for the GSP program. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program expired on December 31, 2020. As a result, imports entering the United States from 122 eligible countries that were previously eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP are now subject to regular, Normal Trade Relations (MFN) rates of duty. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a beneficiary country under this special program and we expect it to retain this status in the future.