The EU and Serbia have today signed a bilateral agreement on Serbia's accession to the WTO. The agreement comprises provisions on tariffs for trade in goods and the reciprocal opening of the partners’ respective services markets. These commitments will be embodied in the future Protocol of Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the WTO. Serbia applied for WTO membership in December of 2004. In February of 2005, the WTO General Council accepted its application, and a working group was established to start the negotiations. Parallel negotiations are being led at working party level and bilaterally with a number of WTO members.
Accession to the WTO is expected to make a lasting contribution to the process of economic reform and sustainable development in the Republic of Serbia. Bilateral trade commitments between the EU and Serbia are already embodied in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), which was signed between the European Union, its Member States and Serbia on 29 April 2008. As ratification by Member States for the SAA is not yet completed, an Interim Agreement on trade-related matters has been applied since 1 February 2010, allowing for the early implementation of trade provisions of the agreement.