On December 19, 2006, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on behalf of Kosovo in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 signed an Agreement to amend and enlarge the Central European Free Trade – CEFTA 2006.
Following the necessary ratification processes, CEFTA 2006 entered into force on 26 July 2007 for five signatories (Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and UNMIK/Kosovo), for Croatia on 22 August 2007, Serbia on 24 October 2007 and for Bosnia and Herzegovina on 22 November 2007. The speed with which the Parties ratified this ambitious agreement indicates the importance of this Agreement to economic development in the region.
This comprehensive Agreement’s main objectives are, inter alia, to expand trade in goods and services and foster investment by means of fair, stable and predictable rules, eliminate barriers to trade between the Parties, provide appropriate protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with international standards and harmonize provisions on modern trade policy issues such as competition rules and state aid. It also includes clear and effective procedures for dispute settlement and facilitates the gradual establishment of the EU-Western Balkan countries zone of diagonal cumulation of origin, as envisaged in the European Commission’s Communication of 27 January 2006.
The Agreement fully conforms to the WTO rules and procedures and EU regulations. Effectively implemented, the Agreement provides an excellent framework for the Parties to prepare for EU accession, thus continuing the tradition of the original CEFTA, whose founding members are now in the EU.
Should you require more information about CEFTA please visit www.cefta.int
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* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo* declaration of independence.