Free Trade Agreements in Serbia: Advantages for Non-Resident Investors

Do you know how to benefit from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)? Most investors don’t as they consider them formal documents. However, these agreements are excellent tools that simplify investment and business relations between countries. Serbia has concluded a large number of Free Trade Agreements, and they successfully attract investments to the country’s economy, make the ties between the East and the West even stronger, and establish really beneficial conditions for foreign trade.

The Serbian economy is on the rise, and Belgrade is turning into a bustling business hub that attracts major European and Asian investors. If you want to read more about Serbia benefits for investors, welcome to our portal. You will find a lot of articles on Serbia as this is a popular business and investment destination, as well as other useful information related to international business, banking, investment, and so on.

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Free Trade Agreements: Details

First of all, let’s look at the list of countries that have concluded Free Trade Agreements with Serbia:

  • Liechtenstein
  • Turkey
  • Kazakhstan
  • EU
  • Iceland
  • Russia
  • UK
  • Norway
  • USA
  • Belarus
  • Switzerland
  • CEFTA (Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Under the Free Trade Agreements, import and export operations are not subject to customs duties. Serbia is a gate that connects the East and the West, which makes it an important trading route – while the duty-free regime makes it even more convenient.

The number of states that are interested in more advantageous trade conditions with Serbia is on a constant increase. This is, of course, beneficial for the country’s economy as trade investments are a major part of it. As Serbia is going to become a European Union state in the near future, it is interested in developing international cooperation.

Serbia and the European Union

The EU is a party to a Free Trade Agreement with Serbia, and it is the country’s major trading partner. Duty-free trade with the EU states is a major advantage, which explains why the trade is quite active.

Serbia occupies a peculiar political position in the current situation around Ukraine: it manages to keep good relations with Russia and the European Union at the same time, which is not easy at all. It did not impose sanctions on Russia, which may influence its prospects of joining the EU. However, we’d better wait and see as the circumstances are changing very fast and the future does not look very predictable.

Serbia and Russia

Trading companies that operate in the manufacturing sector benefit a lot from the existing Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. Products can be exported to Russia duty-free, but you still have to pay the record-keeping tariff that amounts to 1%.

Will the situation change in the near future? No one can say. Serbia is maneuvering between Russia and the European Union, and so far it has managed to do so quite successfully.

Serbia and the USA

Under the Generalized System of Preferences, the goods manufactured in Serbia that are imported into the United States are not subject to customs duties. However, the document is no longer valid and is pending extension. The companies that exported industrial and agricultural products hope that the document will soon be renewed as they benefited most from it.

Serbia and CEFTA

CEFTA countries make up a market of about 22 million people, and Serbian companies are allowed to enter it under the Free Trade Agreement without the need to pay any customs duties. The only existing exception includes fish and seafood, but the players in other sectors find the agreement terms really beneficial.

Serbia and Turkey

Industrial products manufactured in Serbia can be exported to Turkey on a duty-free basis. As for the industrial goods imported to Serbia, they are not subject to customs control but are still subject to customs duties (though these are being gradually abolished). However, if we take agricultural, metallurgy, and textile goods, customs duties are still levied on them, even though Most Favored Nation reductions are sometimes applied.

Serbia and the UK

The UK is a very valuable partner for Serbia as the country’s investment in the Serbian economy helps it prosper and avoid recession under the current circumstances. Both countries are actively developing trade relations and focus on a free trade zone.

Serbia and Belarus

The two countries can engage in duty-free trade with a few exceptions (tires, used cars, alcohol, cigarettes, and sugar). The total trade turnover between Serbia and Belarus is not very high: it does not even reach 200 million US dollars.

Serbia and Kazakhstan

The two countries have concluded a Free Trade Agreement under which no customs duties are payable if the products carried across the border are manufactured in one country and will be sold in the other. However, the annexes to the Agreement contain a number of exceptions. If your products fall under these categories, customs duties are payable at ordinary applicable rates.


If you are looking for a pro-business country with good prospects, Serbia is what you are looking for. The Free Trade Agreements it has concluded with numerous countries strengthen its position and should serve as a stimulus to invest in Serbia. The status of the crossroads where Eastern and Western trade routes meet is probably one of the country’s most tangible advantages that differs it from other European states.

You can set up a company in Serbia, buy a ready-to-use business, or invest in its securities, real estate, or local businesses. There are many opportunities for an investor in Serbia! Book a free session by following the above link to hear more about investment, business, and banking opportunities in the Balkan state!