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Exceptional trade measures

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Exceptional trade measures

The European Union grants trade preferences to products originating in the Western Balkans, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the customs territories of Montenegro, Serbia or Kosovo, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This arrangement both complements and contributes to the stabilisation and association process. It will be in force until 31 December 2010.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2000 of 18 September 2000 introducing exceptional trade measures for countries and territories participating in or linked to the European Union's Stabilisation and Association process, amending Regulation (EC) No 2820/98 and repealing Regulations (EC) Nos 1763/1999 and 6/2000 [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

This Regulation introduces exceptional trade measures for the countries and territories of the Western Balkans. It specifically concerns the countries and territories participating in the stabilisation and association process. This preferential treatment will be in force until 31 December 2010.

Preferential measures

Products originating in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and the customs territories of Serbia or Kosovo, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia can be imported into the Community without quantitative restrictions or measures having equivalent effect and free of customs duties and other levies having equivalent effect. Nevertheless, limited concessions and tariff quotas apply to certain products.

Furthermore, Albania, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro benefit from the concessions in this Regulation as far as they go or whenever they are more advantageous than those granted in their respective stabilisation and association agreements with the European Union. These agreements do indeed establish a contractual trade regime.

Limited concessions and tariff quotas

For certain fishery products and wines, customs duties are suspended during the periods and within the limits of the tariff quotas listed in Annex I. Tariff quotas are also set for other agricultural products, listed in Annex II.

Sugar imports from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the customs territories of Serbia or Kosovo are subject to annual duty-free tariff quotas. The tariff quotas for the countries concerned are as follows:

  • 12 000 tonnes for products originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • 180 000 tonnes for products originating from the customs territories of Serbia or Kosovo.

Conditions for the granting and suspension of preferential measures

To benefit from the preferential measures, the countries concerned must comply with a series of conditions, namely:

  • the concept of “originating products” as defined by Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93;
  • the prohibition on new duties or levies having equivalent effect, new restrictions or measures having equivalent effect on imports from the European Community and the increase of the applicable duties and levies;
  • effective administrative cooperation with the Community to avoid any risk of fraud;
  • the realisation of effective economic reforms and regional cooperation with the other countries participating in the stabilisation and association process, in particular by the establishment of free-trade areas. This condition is fundamental; the Council may take appropriate measures if it is not met.

If there is an excessive increase in exports to the Community, beyond the usual production capacity and export level, or if the above conditions are not met, the European Commission may suspend any or all of this Regulation’s provisions for three months.

A Member State may refer the Commission’s decision relating to the suspension to the Council, and the latter may take a different decision by qualified majority. At the end of three months, the Commission will decide whether to end or extend the suspension.

Background

According to the European Council of Lisbon in March 2000, asymmetrical liberalisation of trade was necessary for the economic development and political stabilisation of the countries and territories participating in the stabilisation and association process.

References

Act

Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition into the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2007/2000 [Adoption: inter-institutional agreement ACC/2000/0144]

30.9.2000

-

OJ L 240 of 23.9.2000

Amending act(s)

Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition into the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2563/2000

24.11.2000

-

OJ L 295 of 23.11.2000

Regulation (EC) No 2487/2001

20.12.2001

-

OJ L 335 of 19.12.2001

Regulation (EC) No 607/2003

6.4.2003

-

OJ L 86 of 3.4.2003

Regulation (EC) No 374/2005

1.7.2005

-

OJ L 59 of 5.3.2005

Regulation (EC) No 1946/2005

30.11.2005

-

OJ L 312 of 29.11.2005

Regulation (EC) No 530/2007

16.5.2007

-

OJ L 125 of 15.5.2007

Regulation (EC) No 407/2008

10.5.2008

-

OJ L 122/7 of 8.5.2008

Last updated: 30.01.2009

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