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Western Balkans

The Western Balkans are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo*.

All the Western Balkan countries are candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. All have signed stabilisation and association agreements with the EU. The agreements aim to progressively establish a free-trade area between the EU and the Western Balkans, focusing on liberalising trade in goods, aligning rules on EU practice and protecting intellectual property.

All participants to the Stabilisation and Association Process from the Western Balkans are now applying the same rules of origin defined in a single legal act, the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin (PEM convention) published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L54 of 26 February 2013).

Start of application of the PEM Convention replacing the respective protocols on rules of origin in the Western Balkans:

Countries

Protocol on rules of origin in
the Association Agreements

Application date

Albania

Protocol 4

1st May 2015

Bosnia Herzegovina

expected

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Protocol 4

1st May 2015

Kosovo*

Protocol 3

1st April 2016

Montenegro

Protocol 3

1st February 2015

Serbia

Protocol 3

1st February 2015

*) This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.