Stabilisation and association agreement

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) is an international treaty, signed on 29 April 2008 between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union.

Two of the most important obligations that the Republic of Serbia will undertake through this agreement shall be the establishment of a free trade area and harmonization of legislation of the Republic of Serbia with the EU law.

The agreement creates a free trade area between Serbia and the EU for a transitional period of six years. The deadline for trade liberalization is determined in accordance with the capacity of Serbian industry and agriculture to adapt to free trade but also with Serbia's desire for faster completion of reforms and accession to the European Union. Serbia's obligation consists in the gradual abolition of customs duties on goods originating from the EU for a transitional period. On the other hand, the European Union through this agreement confirms the free access of goods from Serbia to the European Union market.

The pace of liberalization and the degree of protection depend on the degree of product sensitivity for Serbian industry. Three groups of industrial products were defined, according to sensitivity, for which liberalization will be achieved after a period of two, five or six years. For products that are not on these lists, customs duties will be abolished at the moment the Agreement comes into force. It is ensured that thekey sectors of domestic industry (such as automobile industry, toys, footwear, ceramics ...) remain at a high level of protection during the transitional period of five or six years.

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement also foresees the commitment of the Republic of Serbia to harmonize domestic legislation with the acquis communautaire within the agreed schedule. Given the scope of legal acts of the EU, priority areas that have a direct impact on creating the free trade area between the EU and Serbia were identified: the protection of competition and control of state aid (subsidies), intellectual property rights, public procurement, standardization and consumer protection.

Stabilisation and Association Ageement can be downloaded here.