Tunisia Trade Agreements

The pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of cumulation of origin was introduced in 2005. It brings together the EU, Tunisia and other European and Mediterranean partners to support regional integration through the creation of a common system of rules of origin. Rules of origin are the technical criteria that determine whether, under a given trade agreement, a given product is eligible for duty-free or other preferential access. Cumulation of origin means that a good originating in one partner country may be processed or added to a product of another partner country and that it remains considered an “originating product” of that second partner country for the purposes of a given trade agreement. The agreement also includes provisions on the removal of other trade barriers and trade-related disciplines, including competition rules, state monopolies and subsidies. In addition, the Agreement contains provisions on the protection of intellectual property, investment, services, current payments and capital movements, public procurement, economic cooperation and institutional and procedural matters. The Agreement provides for the establishment of a Joint Committee to monitor its application and to provide for a binding arbitration procedure. Tunisia has signed a number of agreements aimed at facilitating trade and guaranteeing investment and trade in goods. The Agadir Agreement, a framework agreement signed in 2004 with Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, allows free trade between the signatory countries. Tunisia has separate bilateral free trade agreements with Algeria and Libya, but trade with Algeria remains low, while trade with Libya has declined sharply since the Arab Spring. Algeria and Libya achieved only 4% and 4% in 2018. 1% of total Tunisian trade.

Tunisia is also a member of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), composed of Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights (Article 23 and Annex V of the IPR) include, inter alia, patents, trademarks, copyrights and geographical indications. They are based on the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and provide for a high level of protection taking into account most-favoured-nation principles and national treatment. This agreement created a free trade area that exempts all trade in industrial products from trade customs duties, while the EU and Tunisia have agreed, as regards agricultural, agricultural and fisheries products, on the gradual opening of their respective markets to certain products. Although the AMU is primarily a political organization, it allows duty-free nominal exchanges between members, but some barriers to trade remain. In March 2019, the Tunisian parliament ratified the country`s official accession to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA, a common free trade area of twenty member states that stretches from Libya to Swaziland. . . .

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