China-Serbia FTA to take effect on July 1

2024-06-29 10:23:19Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Serbia will officially take effect on July 1, 2024, as the two sides will gradually eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of products in the tariff lines. Tariffs for more than 60 percent of products will be suspended immediately on the same day, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Friday in a statement.

The FTA was signed on October 17, 2023, and both countries have completed the respective approval procedures.

The final proportion of zero-tariff imports on both sides will reach about 95 percent, covering major trade commodities. The import tariffs on the Serbian side will be gradually reduced to zero from the current 5 to 20 percent for Chinese products such as automobiles, photovoltaic modules, lithium batteries, telecommunication equipment, machinery and equipment, refractory materials and some agricultural and aquatic products, according to a separate MOFOCM statement on Friday, citing an official.

China will also reduce the 5-20 percent tariffs to zero for major Serbian imports, including generators, electric motors, tires, beef, wine, nuts and other products.

The move will promote the growth of bilateral trade, as consumers in both countries will be able to enjoy better and more favorable imported products. In addition, it will boost the investment cooperation and industrial chain integration and jointly elevate international competitiveness by utilizing both countries' advantages, according to the official.

The FTA has also established institutional arrangements for related fields, including rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade remedies, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights protection, investment cooperation, competition and other areas. The arrangements will provide a convenient, transparent and stable business environment for enterprises of both countries.

Meanwhile, China will impose the tariff rates it has pledged to under the FTA on certain imports from Serbia, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced Thursday.

Trade and economic exchanges between China and Serbia have been continuously deepened in various sectors. Earlier in June, Bank of China's Yuan Clearing Bank in Serbia officially went into operation and successfully handled its first cross-border yuan remittance. This remittance involved a 2-million-yuan ($275,224) transfer to North China's Hebei Province from the Smederevo Steel Plant in Serbia, which is owned by HBIS, a China-based iron and steel company.

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