Following the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (Barcelona 1995), the association agreement between the EU and Morocco came into force in 2000. It defines the framework for trade relations and other forms of bilateral cooperation.
Free-trade agreement for industrial products
The association agreement, under Title II on the ‘free movement of goods’, establishes a free-trade zone, which will take effect after a 12-year period of transition. The free trade zone between Morocco and the EU came into effect on 1 March 2012. The DG Trade website contains all the information on the EU-Morocco Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
The ‘Customs and Excise Administration’ website provides further information on the abolishment of customs duties and taxes having equivalent effect on imports in Morocco.
Morocco-EU agreement on agricultural and fishery products: towards greater liberalisation measures
The ‘Agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products’, which came into force on 1 October 2012, aims for complete liberalisation, with the exception of products considered by the two parties to be of a sensitive nature, which remain subject to special conditions.
As stipulated in the agricultural agreement, negotiations for an agreement on the protection of geographical indications are under way.
This agreement constitutes an important step forward in terms of enhancing production and improving quality in Morocco. It goes without saying that the implementation of this agreement and the quality label drive will have positive effects on trade.
Negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA)
The document on advanced status indicates that: ‘The DCFTA will be achieved through a series of measures forming an indivisible and coherent whole in such sectors as: access to public markets, facilitation of access to the market for industrial products (harmonisation of Moroccan standards legislation), the free movement of capital and payments, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, industrial and intellectual property rights, competition policy, consumer protection, customs and trade facilitation, trade and sustainable development, rapid alert or consultation mechanism.’
In addition to the simple concept of trade liberalisation and abolishing customs duties with respect to goods, the DCFTA favours closer economic integration by reducing non-tariff barriers, liberalising the trade in services, ensuring the protection of investments and standardising regulations in several commercial and economic areas.
Morocco is the first partner in the Mediterranean region with whom the EU has initiated such negotiations.
Protocol on dispute settlement: establishment of arbitration procedures
The Agreement between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco establishing a Dispute Settlement Mechanism, which came into force on 1 November 2012, aims to prevent and resolve any commercial disputes between countries (EU-Morocco), relating to the interpretation and application of the commercial provisions of the association agreement, with a view to a mutually acceptable solution.