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Moldova | Brussels, 20 December 2019

EU opens door to further duty-free imports from Republic of Moldova

On 19 December 2019, the Council of the EU has formally endorsed an agreement granting Moldovan farmers and SMEs additional preferential export opportunities to the EU. This follows the agreement reached on 11 July this year, between the EU and the previous government of the Republic of Moldova, led by Ms Maia Sandu, to broaden the degree of trade liberalisation for specific agricultural products under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

The Republic of Moldova will be granted additional duty-free tariff rate quotas to export table grapes (of double the current amount) and plums (of a 50% increase on the current volume), as well as a new duty-free quota for cherries (of 1,500 tonnes). As part of the agreement, EU producers will also have more export opportunities, as the EU will gain additional duty-free access to the Moldovan market. Moreover, the thresholds triggering the anti-circumvention mechanism for wheat, barley, maize, sugar and processed cereals have also been raised, taking into account the trade patterns over the last few years.

The deal demonstrates the EU’s commitment to Moldovan citizens and businesses, and the opportunities and benefits offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). These revisions are in the context of the third-year review of the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement. The EU completed this review in response to sustained efforts made by Ms Sandu’s government to implement reforms under the DCFTA. The EU encourages the Republic of Moldova to continue the implementation of these needed reforms in the spirit of our Association Agreement.

Before it can enter into force, the agreement will have to be approved by the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Committee in Trade Configuration (ACTC).

Background

The Association Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Moldova aims to deepen political and economic relations between the two parties. It also creates a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The Agreement provides Moldova with a framework for boosting trade and economic growth, through improved access to the EU market for its products and services, as well as by comprehensively approximating its trade-related laws and regulations to EU standards.

Since the provisional entry into force of the DCFTA in September 2014, there has been a considerable growth in exchanges: EU imports from Moldova grew by 62% between 2014 and 2018, and the EU is Moldova’s biggest partner, representing 56% of its total trade.

More information on EU-Moldova trade