The Republic of Serbia and the People’s Republic of China officially signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on 17 October 2023.
The FTA represents grounds for the creation of the free trade zone among others by facilitating the trade of goods in accordance with GATT 1994. Most importantly, the FTA:
- envisages national treatment of goods originating from the country signatories, meaning that imports will not be treated less favourably than the same or similar domestically-produced goods once they have passed custom;
- envisages that country signatories will strive towards simplifying customs procedures;
- introduces a range of preferential customs measures between the signatory nations, categorized as follows:
- A0: Immediate abolition of customs and other duties upon the FTA’s entry into force.
- A5: Gradual abolition of customs and other duties in five one-year phases, commencing from the FTA’s entry into force.
- A10: Gradual abolition of customs and other duties in ten one-year phases, commencing from the FTA’s entry into force.
- A15: Gradual abolition of customs and other duties in fifteen one-year stages, commencing from the FTA’s entry into force.
- E: Continued application of customs and other duties even after the FTA’s entry into force.
- introduces most favoured nation (MFN) treatment in relation to import between the signatories, meaning that the base custom duty applicable in a country signatory as of 1 January 2022 will be applicable to import between the signatories, if lower than the one under the FTA;
- references to and calls for the application of GATT 1994 and the related agreements for a number of matters, such as quantitative restrictions, subsidies, anti-dumping measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical regulations, etc.
The FTA will take effect on the first day of the third month following the month when both signatories notify each other of completing all necessary legal procedures required for its implementation.
The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.
By Branimir Rajsic, Senior Consultant, Katarina Tomic Senior Associate, Milica Mijatovic Associate, Karanovic & Partners