Georgian business does not enjoy the benefitsprovided by the Association Agreement with the European Union. The enactment of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement has notaffected export figures to the countries of the EU. Despite the fact that from September 1 Georgia can export its products to the European Union’s market of 500 million consumers without additional charges, an increase has not been observed compared with the same period of the previous year.
According to the Customs Department of the Revenue Service, from the beginning of September till September 24, the value of goods exported from Georgia to EU countries amounted to GEL 66 816 241. Last September a total value of the goods exported to EU countries made GEL 75 495 895.
A total weight of exported goods amounted to 26 830 302 kilograms in the previous year, as per incomplete data for September of this year, the figure amounts to 17 013 358 kilograms.
According to the Customs Department, the following products were exported to the EU countries: vegetables and certain roots and tubers, edible fruits and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons; coffee, tea, mate (Paraguay tea), and spices; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten, oil seeds and oleaginous fruitsand berries; medicinal plants and technical plants, salt; sulfur; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and vinegar, pharmaceutical products, fertilizers, etc.
Note: All essential elements of the Association Agreement temporarily came into effect from September 1. To define this more accurately, before the deal is completely implemented in Georgia, its 80 percent including a part on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) will come into force. Within the agreement, almost all Georgian products will be exempted from taxes; however some previous regulations on them will still remain in force.
The negotiations on completing the Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU were launched in July, 2010, while the negotiations on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area – in December, 2011.
In the process of negotiations, between the two parties as many as 14 plenary sessions were held on the political section of the agreement, 6 rounds of talks — regarding the DCFTA and around 100 video conferences.
The negotiations were wrapped up in July, 2013; the deal was initialed in November, 2013 at the Vilnius Summit and was signed on 27 June, 2014. Before the document is completely implemented, the national parliaments of all EU member countries must ratify it.