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Free Trade regime with EFTA - Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway

 

On 27th of June 2016, in Bern, Switzerland Georgia signed FTA with EFTA countries, giving Georgian products duty free access to markets of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Agreement entered into force on 1 September 2017 for Georgia, Iceland and Norway and 1 May 2018 for Switzerland and Liechtenstein.  


The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is the intergovernmental organization of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It was set up in 1960 by its then seven Member States for the promotion of free trade and economic integration between its members.


The main tasks of the Association are maintaining and developing the EFTA Convention, which regulates economic relations between the four EFTA States; managing the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement), which brings together the Member States of the European Union and three of the EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – in a single market, also referred to as the “Internal Market”; developing EFTA’s worldwide network of free trade agreements.


The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organization set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four Member States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – and the benefit of their trading partners around the globe.  The four EFTA States are all open, competitive economies committed to the progressive liberalization of trade in the multinational arena as well as in free trade agreements.
As a broad-based Agreement, the FTA covers trade in goods, trade in services, establishment, the protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement, competition, and trade and sustainable development. In the area of trade in goods, the Parties abolish all customs duties on industrial products as of the entry into force of the Agreement.


The Agreement consists of 13 Chapters and 16 Annexes. The Agreement covers the following main subjects: Trade in Goods; Rules of Origin; Trade Facilitation; Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS); Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT); Trade in Services; Investment/Establishment; Protection of; Intellectual Property (IPR); Government Procurement; Competition; Trade and Sustainable; Development; Institutional Provisions; Dispute Settlement.


This agreement helps to open the Georgian market to the world and to avoid its dependence on a limited set of countries. In practice, it allows Georgian producers to export their goods under better conditions. And also, it allows Georgian consumers to benefit from Swiss products at a better price. The agreement with the EFTA states focuses on free trade issues and does not touch upon Georgian trade-related laws, as the agreement with the EU does. The EFTA agreement covers diverse sectors from trade in goods and trade in services to protection of intellectual property rights and government procurement and a lot of Georgian exports receive preferential treatment since the agreement entered into force.


You can find the agreement on the following link: text of the agreement