Fruit and vegetable producers and exporters from Serbia and other Western Balkan countries will continue to sell their goods to the EU customers duty-free in the next five years. In addition to apples, plums, and sweet corn, the Western Balkans will be able to export potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, grapes, apricots, cherries, sour cherries, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, nuts, melons, and various citrus fruits duty-free. The EU’s decision on the Autonomous Trade Measures (ATM), renewed every five years, was adopted by the European Parliament and ratified by the Council of the EU at the proposal of the European Commission. It was published in the Official Journal of the EU, and it came into force on Dec 22,2020.
According to the decision, the current trade benefits for the export of products not covered by the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) and those for which the SAA stipulations are less favorable will be in effect until the end of 2025. The measures provide valuable support to the regional economy beyond the bilateral free trade agreements with the Western Balkans. The measures represent nearly €24 million in duties saved and will be particularly helpful for smaller farmers. According to the ATM, the possibility of exporting an additional 30 thousand hectoliters of wine a year is extended for wine producers in the region once the quotas that the EU has approved for each Western Balkan country individually are used up.