Free Trade Agreements
Albania is a signatory to 4 multilateral Free Trade Agreements:
– Central European Free Trade Agreement (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia);
– European Free Trade Agreement (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland);
– The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences
– The Stabilization Association Agreement with EU member states.
A bilateral FTA has been signed with Turkey.
Albania’s foreign trade regime has been liberalized since 1990 and is in compliance with the guidelines set by the EU and WTO (member since 2000). Imports and exports of commodities with the EU are not generally subjected to special authorization requirements. Exceptions apply to quotas or control requirements imposed through different bilateral or multilateral agreements signed by Albania. Licenses are also required for specific commodities with restricted circulation within the country such as military or strategic goods, radioactive materials and psychotropic substances, drugs etc. Albania has signed several FTAs allowing Albanian-based manufacturers to use the country as a gateway to markets in Southern Europe and for transshipping to the EU. The Stabilization Association Agreement allows all industrial goods originating in Albania to be exported into the EU, and 83% of industrial goods to be imported into Albania from the EU without any customs tariffs.
Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
On December 19, 2006, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo signed an Agreement to amend and enlarge the Central European Free Trade – CEFTA 2006.
CEFTA aims to, inter alia, expand trade in goods and services and foster investment by means of fair, stable and predictable rules, eliminate barriers to trade between the signatories, provide appropriate protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with international standards and harmonize provisions on modern trade policy issues such as competition rules and state aid.
European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
The Free Trade Agreement between Albania and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland focuses on the liberalization of trade in goods by abolishing all customs duties on industrial products, including fish and other marine products. Bilateral arrangements on agricultural products between the individual EFTA States and Albania also form part of the instruments establishing the free-trade area between both sides.
Free Trade Agreement with Turkey
Albania has also a Free Trade Agreement with Turkey removing tariffs on Albanian industrial goods exported into Turkey and on certain Turkish products exported into Albania.
The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program
Albania benefits from the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program designed to promote economic growth in developing countries by providing preferential duty-free entry of up to 3,500 products from 128 countries. The purpose of the GSP program is to give these exports a competitive edge in the U.S. market.
Bilateral Investment Treaties
Albania has signed 43 bilateral treaties for the promotion and protection of investments.
The Republic of Albania has signed investment protection treaties with the following countries: Austria; Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Finland; France; Greece; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Israel; Kosovo; Kuwait; Lithuania; Malaysia; Malta; Macedonia; Moldova; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; San Marino; Serbia; Slovenia; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States of America and Belgium-Luxembourg (temporary union).
Avoidance of Double Taxation
Albania has signed 38 bilateral treaties for the avoidance of double taxation and fiscal evasion.
The Republic of Albania has signed avoidance of double taxation treaties with the following countries: Austria; Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Egypt; Estonia; France; Greece; Germany; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Kosovo; Kuwait; Latvia; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Malta; Macedonia; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Singapore; Slovenia; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey.