TBILISI, DFWatch–A free trade agreement between Georgia and the European Union came into force today, September 1.
This means that Georgian product may be exported to Europe without customs fee.
Free trade was part of an association agreement Georgia signed with the EU in June.
According to Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, many passages in the agreement came into force on Monday. About 80 percent of the agreement is now in force, including what is formally called a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).
In order for the agreement to come fully into force it is necessary for every EU member state and the European Parliament to ratify it first. So far only Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria have ratified the treaty.
“From now on, Georgia has moved to the phase of implementing the agreement, which includes large-scale reforms to establish European standards and norms in order to harmonize legislation with the EU,” Zalkaniani said.
He added that from Monday, Georgian products will be exported to the European market without customs fee.
Georgia started negotiations with the EU about the association agreement in July, 2010, and from December, 2011, about DCFTA. Negotiations ended in July, 2013, and then the treaty was preliminary signed (in technical language: initialed) in November, 2013, at an Eastern Partnership summit Vilnius. Georgia finally signed the agreement on June 27, and the Georgian parliament ratified it on July 18.