Duty Free Access to One Billion Consumers
Within the framework of its global openness and liberalization strategy, Morocco has set up during the last decade a legal framework conducive to developing its commercial relations with some of its potential partners, through the conclusion of free trade agreements either bilaterally or regionally.
The Association Agreement between Morocco and the European Union signed on February 26, 1996 which came into force on March 1st, 2000, provides for gradual establishment of an industrial free-trade zone in 2012 and progressive liberalization of agricultural trade.
For industrial goods, the Agreement provides for gradual dismantling over 12 years of products originating from the EU within the framework of 3 lists against free access of Moroccan industrial products.
In addition, bilateral negotiations were conducted to adapt the Association Agreement following the EU enlargement to include ten new countries (these negotiations were completed April 16, 2004).
Morocco and the United States signed an FTA on June 15, 2004. It entered into force on July 1 2005. This is a comprehensive agreement that covers all sectors of economic activity, ranging from the trade goods and services, to TRIPS, social and environmental issues, etc.
In exclusively economic and commercial vocation, this agreement aims to organize the development of trade in goods and services between the two countries in a controlled frame, given the differences in terms of socioeconomic development.
Signed on June 19, 1997 and entered into force on March 1, 2000, the Association Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) provides for a gradual dismantling of industrial products over 12 years following the EU scheme.
Concerning agricultural products, and unlike the EU, the EFTA does not have a common agricultural policy. Also, concessions have been exchanged with each member state.
Under the process of Euro-Mediterranean regional integration, Morocco and Turkey signed a FTA in Ankara, April 7, 2004. It provides for the gradual establishment of an industrial free trade zone over a period of 10 years from the date of entry into force with an asymmetrical treatment in favor of Morocco.
Industrial products of Moroccan origin will benefit from total exemption upon the entry into force of the Agreement. Regarding agricultural products, there was an exchange of concessions.
The application of the Convention for the facilitation and development of inter-Arab trade exchanges came into force on January 1st, 1998. It aims to gradually establish a free trade zone among member countries of the Arab League (except Algeria, Djibouti, Comoros and Mauritania).
This Program provides for gradual dismantling, until complete exemption on January 1, 2005. However, difficulties remain regarding its implementation.
Morocco signed on February 25, 2004, a quadrilateral FTA with Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan under the Agadir Declaration, signed May 8, 2001. The Agreement aims at establishing a quadripartite free trade zone, while remaining open to all Mediterranean Arab countries.
It states a total exemption of customs duties starting from the date of entry into force (January 1st, 2005) for all industrial and agricultural products with the exception of some products excluded for security, health and environmental reasons.