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Agriculture and rural development

Enlargement countries

Overview of the European Union's agricultural trade with candidates and potential candidates for EU enlargement.

Agri-food trade with enlargement countries

The EU and the enlargement countries have strong trade relations.

With the Western Balkans, the EU has concluded Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs), establishing a free-trade area over a transitional period which has now ended for all but Kosovo. The agreements foresee the elimination of duties and non-tariff restrictions on bilateral trade and cover all goods, with the exception of some agricultural and fishery products that are subject to reduced duties and/or quantitative concessions.

Trade in agri-food products with the region has doubled since 2008 and trade expansion has generally benefitted the Western Balkan countries: in ten years, the region increased its exports to the EU by over 100%, while EU exports to the region experienced a more modest increase of 52%. Overall, however, the EU is a net exporter of agri-food products to the Western Balkan countries, except in the case of Serbia.

Additionally, under autonomous trade measures granted to the Western Balkans since 2000, the countries continue to benefit from certain preferences in their trade with the EU. This includes allowing for the suspension of specific duties normally applied to fruit and vegetables, and access to a global wine quota after the countries’ bilateral wine quotas under the respective SAAs are filled.

In the case of Turkey, the EU has a special agreement on trade in agricultural products that are not covered by the Customs Union between both parties.

Related information

EU – Western Balkans trade

EU – Turkey trade

Countries

Albania

Agricultural trade relations between the EU and Albania are governed by the EU-Albania SAA. The SAA began on 1 April 2009, though the trade element of the agreement entered into force through an interim agreement from 1 December 2006.

The agreement provides for a high level of liberalisation, with some minor exceptions concerning a limited number of agricultural products. Under the agreement, all agricultural products originating in Albania can enter the EU duty free, with the exception of beef, sugar and wine, which are subject to preferential TRQs. Regarding EU exports to Albania, some products have not been fully liberalised, but benefit from a reduction to Albania’s base rate (e.g. dairy, certain cereals and certain cereal seeds).

The EU has a large agri-food trade surplus with Albania, consisting mainly of waters, food preparations, and bread and pastry. In the other direction, the EU mainly imports plants, tomatoes and certain vegetables from Albania.

The agreement ensures mutual protection for the geographical indications (GIs) of wines, spirit drinks and aromatised wines listed in the agreement.

Related information

EU – Albania Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – Albania
English
(426.04 KB - PDF)
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Bosnia-Herzegovina

Agricultural trade relations between the EU and Bosnia-Herzegovina are governed by the EU-Bosnia Herzegovina SAA. The SAA entered into force on 1 June 2015, with the trade-related part of the agreement already applied through an interim agreement from 1 July 2008. The agreement provides for a high level of liberalisation with very few exceptions and has an asymmetrical nature. Under the agreement, all agricultural products originating in Bosnia-Herzegovina can enter the EU duty free, with the exception of beef, sugar and wine, which are subject to TRQs. For EU exports to Bosnia-Herzegovina, some products have not been fully liberalised but benefit from a reduction to Bosnia-Herzegovina’s base rate (e.g. live animals, meat, dairy, fruit juices).

The EU has a large agri-food trade surplus with Bosnia-Herzegovina, consisting mainly of bovine meat, confectionary and food preparations. In the other direction, the EU mainly imports fruits, raw hides and waters from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The SAA ensures mutual protection for all the GIs listed in the agreement.

Related information

EU –  Bosnia-Herzegovina Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – Bosnia and Herzegovina
English
(427.1 KB - PDF)
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Kosovo*

Agricultural trade relations between the EU and Kosovo are governed by the EU-Kosovo SAA, which entered into force on 1 April 2016. The agreement provides for a high level of liberalisation with a few exceptions concerning a limited number of agricultural products. Under the agreement, all agricultural products originating in Kosovo can enter the EU duty free, with the exception of beef, sugar and wine, which are subject to TRQs. With regard to EU exports to Kosovo, some products have not been fully liberalised but benefit from a reduction to Kosovo’s base rate (e.g. dairy, certain fruit and vegetables, and wine).

The EU has a large agri-food trade surplus with Kosovo, consisting mainly of tobacco, waters and food preparations. In the other direction, the EU mainly imports certain fruits, waters, and raw hides and skins from Kosovo.

The SAA ensures mutual protection for all the GIs listed in the agreement.

*The designation of Kosovo is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Related information

EU – Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – Kosovo
English
(413.02 KB - PDF)
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Montenegro

Agricultural trade relations between the EU and Montenegro are governed by the EU-Montenegro SAA, which entered into force on 1 May 2010, although the trade related part of the SAA entered into force through an interim agreement from 1 January 2008. The agreement provides for a high level of liberalisation with very few exceptions concerning a limited number of agricultural products. Under the agreement, all agricultural products originating in Montenegro can enter the EU duty free, with the exception of beef, sugar and wine, which are subject to preferential TRQs. Regarding EU exports to Montenegro, some products have not been fully liberalised but benefit from a reduction to Montenegro’s base rate (e.g. meat, dairy, certain fruit and vegetables).

The EU has a large agri-food trade surplus with Montenegro, consisting mainly of meat, dairy and food preparations. In the other direction, the EU mainly imports vegetables (mushrooms), wine and oils from Montenegro.

The SAA ensures mutual protection for all the GIs listed in the agreement.

Related information

EU – Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – Montenegro
English
(408.55 KB - PDF)
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North Macedonia

Agricultural trade relations between the EU and North Macedonia are governed by the EU-North Macedonia SAA. The SAA entered into force on 1 April 2004, with the trade element of the agreement already applying through an interim agreement from 1 June 2001. The agreement provides for a high level of liberalisation with very few exceptions concerning a limited number of agricultural products. Under the agreement, all agricultural products originating in North Macedonia can enter the EU duty free with the exception of beef, sugar and wine, which are subject to preferential TRQs. For EU exports to North Macedonia, some products have not been fully liberalised but benefit from a reduction to North Macedonia’s base rate (e.g. meat, dairy, some fruits).

The EU has a large agri-food trade surplus with North Macedonia, consisting mainly of meat, dairy and live animals. In the other direction, the EU mainly imports fruit, vegetables, wine and tobacco from North Macedonia.

Related information

EU – North Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – North Macedonia
English
(418.52 KB - PDF)
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Serbia

Agricultural trade relations between the EU and Serbia are governed by the EU-Serbia SAA, which entered into force on 1 September 2013, with the trade related part of the SAA already applying through an interim agreement from 1 January 2009 on the Serbian side, and as of 1 February 2010 on the EU side. The agreement provides for a high level of liberalisation with very few exceptions concerning a limited number of agricultural products. Under the agreement, all agricultural products originating in Serbia can enter the EU duty free with the exception of beef, sugar and wine, which are subject to preferential TRQs. Regarding EU exports to Serbia, some products have not been fully liberalised but benefit from a reduction to Serbia’s base rate (e.g. meat, dairy, certain fruits and vegetables).

Serbia has a surplus in agri-food trade with EU, consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, cereals and sugar. In the other direction, the EU mainly exports meat, dairy and food preparations to Serbia.

The agreement ensures mutual protection for all the GIs listed in the SAA.

Related information

EU – Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – Serbia
English
(412.46 KB - PDF)
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Turkey

The EU and Turkey created a Customs Union in 1996, within the framework of the 1963 Association Agreement, but this does not cover agricultural goods. Agricultural trade relations between the EU and Turkey are governed by the EU-Turkey agreement on the trade of agricultural products. The agreement was amended in 2006, to take account of the enlargement of the EU in 2004, and then again in 2018, to take account of a change of definition in a quota for beef granted to the EU.

The agreement has an asymmetrical nature. Turkey benefits from a complete elimination of ad valorem duties on all except the most sensitive agricultural products, which are covered by quotas. EU preferences are limited to the quotas listed in the agreement.

Turkey is a major trade partner of the EU, being the 10th largest export destination for EU agri-food products and its 8th biggest supplier (2019). Turkey has a surplus in agri-food trade with the EU, with exports consisting mainly of fruit and vegetables and preparations of fruit and vegetables. In the other direction, the EU mainly exports cereals, cotton and food preparations to Turkey.

Related information

EU – Turkey agreement on trade regime for agricultural products

Agri-food trade statistical factsheet – Turkey
English
(436.97 KB - PDF)
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