Trade Policy and Market Access
Since joining the WTO in 2001, the country has accepted a fairly liberal trade regime which is well-recognised for being very open to imports which also extend to strong access to foreign markets. Moldova applies the low tariff of 2.5 per cent and face low tariff in destination markets. However, the country has some tariff lines with high tariffs (tariff peaks), particularly in the products of sugars and confectionery and animal products. Moldova has signed free trade agreements with countries of the former Soviet Union. In December 2006, Moldova joined the Central European Free Trade Agreement, whilst the EU market is the country's largest export destination, usually accounting for slightly less than a half of all Moldovan exports. In 2008, Moldova changed its trade relationship with the EU from the extended generalized system of preferences (GSP-plus) to autonomous trade preferences, which expanded Moldovan duty-free access to EU markets. These autonomous trade preferences were extended from 2012 to 2015. To deepen its preferential trade arrangements with the EU, Moldova began negotiating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement (DCFTA) in 2012.
United Nations Development Program, 2011, Aid for Trade Needs
Assessment for the Republic of Moldova
Standard Compliance and Other Relevant Import/Export Restrictions
Despite the ongoing effort to conclude the DCFTA, and the heavy proportion of the EU market for export, Moldovan products still have difficulty in market access due to different standards and incompetent institutions. For example, the country has full set of legislations and institutions related to phytosanitary and veterinary controls, technical regulation, standards, conformity assessment and market surveillance; however, these legislation, institutions and practices are not coherent with that used in the EU. Also, the high cost of laboratory test for certification purpose reduces the competitiveness in the export of agricultural goods. Besides the fees for laboratory tests, the fees for certification can go as high as USD 500. Considering the number of certifications that various contracts require for the export, these costs quickly increase.
Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2012, Country Report