Albania applies a liberal trade regime while its foreign trade has been liberalized since 1990 and follows the guidelines set by the European Union and World Trade Organization. Albania has been a member of WTO since 2000 and applies WTO rules on import licensing. As a result of this liberalization and an on-going process of harmonization of Albanian customs rules with the EU system, imports and exports of commodities are not generally subject to special authorization requirements.
Exceptions apply to quotas or control requirements imposed through different bilateral or multilateral agreements signed by Albania. Licenses are also required for specific commodities with restricted circulation within the country such as military or strategic goods, radioactive materials and psychotropic substances, drugs etc.
The country’s trade policies compilation subdued to some duties generated by its membership as well as to the need for adoption of country’s legislation in conformity with global trade rules. Albania committed to:
- Liberalize its tariff regime by employing a tariff reduction process (bound rates and sectorial initiatives);
- To perform all commitments derived by the agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS);
- Albanian Customs Code emphasizes that custom valuation will take place in compliance with the requirements of WTO;
- Albania is a member of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) since 1992 and it has recognized some international agreements in this area. Albania has committed to implement the entire TRIPS Agreement and the legislation regarding author’s copyrights. Albania has also signed the respective memorandum related to intellectual Property Regime.
Exports are not subject to any export taxes, fees or other barriers. Imports are not subject to any import duty taxes other than customs duties. Imports are subject to VAT and some items, such as tobacco, alcoholic beverages and fuel are also subject to an excise tax.