BELGIUM: Bosnian duty removal clears way for drinks companies
European Union (EU) ministers have been asked to swiftly approve a comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and Bosnia & Herzegovina which will slash or remove duties on drinks products traded between them.
The move follows approval of long-awaited Bosnian policing reforms which had blocked the deal. Under the trade agreement, Bosnian import duties on most kinds of EU-made fruit juice and coffee will be phased out over five years.
The Bosnians have also agreed to formally protect geographical designations of EU-made wines. In return, the EU will immediately scrap its import duties on Bosnia-made mineral water, malt beer, Vermouth and other aromatic wines.
The agreement is the first step towards Bosnia joining the EU, scrapping all remaining duties for trade with other member states. Current EU presidency-holder Slovenia confirmed that the move promoted Bosnian "progress on the path towards EU integration".
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