Description

The Western Balkans are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo*.

All the Western Balkan countries are candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. All have signed stabilisation and association agreements with the EU. The agreements aim to progressively establish a free-trade area between the EU and the Western Balkans, focusing on liberalising trade in goods, aligning rules on EU practice and protecting intellectual property.

All participants to the Stabilisation and Association Process from the Western Balkans are now applying the same rules of origin defined in a single legal act, the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin (PEM convention) published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L54 of 26 February 2013).

Start of application of the PEM Convention replacing the respective protocols on rules of origin in the Western Balkans:

 

Countries

Protocol on rules of origin in
the Association Agreements

Application date

Albania

Protocol 4

1st May 2015

Bosnia Herzegovina

expected

 

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Protocol 4

1st May 2015

Kosovo*

Protocol 3

1st April 2016

Montenegro

Protocol 3

1st February 2015

Serbia

Protocol 3

1st February 2015

 

Rules of Origin

 Legal basis is the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin (PEM Convention) published in OJ L54 of 26 February 2013.

Tolerance

Tolerance is fixed at 10% of the ex-work price of the product for all products, except for textile and clothing, for which specific tolerances apply.

See also: General rule of Tolerance or De Minimis

Cumulation

  • Diagonal cumulation: applies within the pan-Euro-Med zone. This means that materials which have obtained originating status in one of the Contracting Parties may be incorporated in products manufactured in another Contracting Party without those products losing their originating status when exported to a third Contracting Party within the pan-Euro-Med zone. Diagonal cumulation however only applies if an FTA is in place between all Contracting Parties concerned. This is called the "variable geometry" rule. Please check the list of countries with which cumulation can apply.

See also: General rule of Cumulation

Direct transport

Evidence of the direct transport will have to be brought to the customs authorities of the importing country.

See also: General rule of Direct transport or Non-Manipulation

Duty drawback

Duty drawback is not authorized

See also: General rule of Duty drawback

Product specific rules of origin

List of processing which should be carried out on non-originating materials to gain the originating status is included in Annex II of the PEM Convention. The EU also published explanatory notes with practical examples.

Proofs of Origin

Under the rules of origin applicable to the Western Balkans in order to benefit from the preferential duty rates, products originating in the Western Balkans must be accompanied by either:

  • a movement certificate EUR.1 (see specimen in Annex III a to the PEM Convention) or a movement certificate EUR-MED (see specimen in Annex III b to the PEM Convention) issued by the customs authorities of the exporting country. The exporter applying for the certificate should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of the products concerned. or
  • an invoice declaration or an invoice declaration EUR-MED made out by an approved exporter or by any exporter for a consignment consisting of one or more packages containing products whose total value does not exceed €6000 (see conditions and texts of origin declarations in Annexes IV a and b to the PEM Convention)

Proofs of origin shall be valid for four months from the date of issue in the exporting country.

 

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.