Tunisia Eu Trade Agreement

At present, EU tariff quotas are particularly important for olive oil. Tunisia is the world`s fifth-largest exporter after southern European member states and olive oil accounts for 40% of its total agricultural exports. However, for most categories of olive oil, the amount that can be imported duty-free into the EU is limited by quotas. In the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks and the resulting collapse of tourism, Brussels twice increased Tunisia`s rate against strong opposition from producers in southern Europe. The EU has committed to a further increase in 2018, provided that Tunisia agrees to open its markets to certain agricultural products of its choice (“mini-trade package”). So far, Tunis has opposed it, although a sectoral agreement – which only applies to goods – proposes a broad one. In fact, a “mini-trade package” would be a first step in this direction. At present, processed oil does not benefit from tariff preferences. The EU should also promote Tunisia`s capacity to implement standards. And Tunisia should certainly also use voluntary and private standards to incentivize the full market potential of high-quality products.

The EU has already proposed a number of support measures, including support for trade measures such as the professionalisation of testing laboratories. The German Import Promotion Desk also offers targeted support to increase agricultural exports to the EU. However, Tunisia should carry out its own analyses of support needs and prioritization. Ecological standards should also be taken into account, for example because better access to the olive oil market could lead to an extension of olive groves, which, in turn, increases water and soil stress. Environmental regulations and workers` rights are addressed in the sustainability chapter of the agreement. Even if the applicability of the chapter is limited, ecological risks should be seen as an additional argument for putting quality and value above mere quantity. Recently, INVESTMENT PROTECTION for the whole of the EU has often been negotiated in accordance with trade rules, but it is concluded in a separate agreement under domestic ratification requirements. Tunis can benefit from the improvements made to the new EU model, otherwise the old and limited national bits will continue to apply to Tunisia. These could block any future legal improvements, envisaged by further national reforms, as such changes could give rise to claims for compensation for expropriation. The EU`s new approach leaves more room for manoeuvre for such legislative changes. It is precisely with regard to the search for increased investment that Tunisia should endeavour to regulate these rules in a supplementary agreement.

In addition to these reductions in trade duties, the Association Agreement also contains provisions on which the EU and Tunisia have agreed: around 70% of Tunisian trade is concluded with the European Union and Tunisia`s most important free trade agreement is the Association Agreement on Industrial Goods with the EU, formally ratified in 1996. The free trade area with the EU was effectively implemented in 2008, after a gradual reduction of tariffs to zero over a period of 12 years. At the end of 2011, the EU announced that it would pursue a “deep and comprehensive free trade agreement” with Tunisia. Negotiations are still ongoing from June 2020. EU and Tunisian trade negotiators met in Brussels from 10 to 14 December 2018 for the 3rd round of negotiations for an agreement on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). .