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Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) applied for accession to the WTO in May 1999, and submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime in October 2002.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first Working Party meeting was held in November 2003. BIH’s most recent Working Party meeting – its tenth – was held in October2012, to review the nearly completed draft WP report, BIH’s revised offer on agricultural domestic supports, and its legislative action plan. The review of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s trade regime in the Working Party is nearing completion, based on comprehensive comments and drafting suggestions submitted by the United States and other WTO Members after the October 2012 meeting.
Progress in implementing WTO provisions in law has been complicated by BIH’s federal structure, as authority for a number of WTO issues is not exercised by the central government, but is administered by the Entities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Serbska, and by the Brcko District that make up the country of Bosnia and Herzgovina.
The United States has actively participated in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Working Party meetings, and has engaged in bilateral consultations with the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the margins of WTO meetings in Geneva.
The most recent bilateral market access negotiations were held on the margins of the WP meeting in October 2012, and are well advanced, though more work is required on goods, in particular. The United States has provided technical assistance throughout the accession process, funding CLDP and USAID assistance to BiH in drafting documentation, training, legal drafting, and institution building.