Wedged between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova actively promotes free trade with its immediate neighbors and main trade partners. Moldova was among the first CIS countries to join the WTO in July 2001. Moldova’s tariff policy is based on the trade regime and norms established by the WTO. Moldova grants at least MFN treatment to all its trading partners.
Moldova is a member of the CIS free trade agreement. It adheres to the multilateral Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which comprises, besides Moldova, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. On June 27, 2014, Moldova and the EU signed an Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and have applied it provisionally since September 1, 2014. Moldova’s AA/DCFTA came fully into force on July 1, 2016 following ratification.
As a member of the World Customs Organization, Moldova applies import tariffs on goods classified pursuant to the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). Customs duties are assessed on the value of goods (ad valorem duty), in-kind quantity or a combination of the two. The ad valorem customs duty has the widest application, ranging from zero to 25 percent of the value of imported items. A combination of the two is applied to a range of imported meat products. Besides the customs duties, the Moldovan Customs Service may also levy so-called exceptional duties – safeguard duty, anti-dumping duty or countervailing duty. The only exceptional duty applied was a safeguard duty on sugar imports.
The trade-weighted average rate of customs duties is 4.2 percent for all goods. The average rate is 3.2 percent for manufactured products and 11.2 percent for agricultural products. At the same time, Moldova applies a zero percent rate on almost 50 percent of products in the tariff schedule.
In addition to import tariffs, imported goods are usually subject to a 20 percent value-added tax. Some categories of goods are subject to an 8 percent rate. Customs may assess excise taxes on certain goods. Also, companies must pay customs processing fees, which are determined on a case-by-case basis and depend on the value and final destination of goods, but the general rule is to apply a 0.4 percent fee on the value of processed goods.
Information on customs duties, reliefs, and quotas is available on www.trade.gov.md and Customs Info Database Tariff Look-up Tool.