Serbia opens chapters 7 and 29

LUXEMBOURG – The sixth meeting of the Accession Conference with Serbia at ministerial level was held Tuesday in Luxembourg to open negotiations on chapter 7 – Intellectual property law and chapter 29 – Customs union.

The European Union delegation was led by Ms Helena Dalli, Minister of European Affairs and Equality of Malta, on behalf of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The European Commission was represented by Mr Christian Danielsson, Director General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. The Serbian delegation was led by Ms Jadranka Joksimović, Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration.

With today’s Conference, out of a total of 35 negotiation chapters, 10 chapters have now been opened for negotiations of which 2 chapters have already been provisionally closed. Further accession conferences will be planned, as appropriate, in order to take the process forward in the second half of 2017. The accession negotiations were launched in January 2014.

Chapters opened

Regarding the opening of negotiations on chapter 7 – Intellectual property law and chapter 29 – Customs union, the Union has closely examined Serbia’s present state of preparations. On the understanding that Serbia has to continue to make progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis in these chapters, the EU noted that there are benchmarks that need to be met for provisional closure of these chapters.

In addition, the EU underlined that it would devote particular attention to monitoring all specific issues mentioned in its common positions. Monitoring of progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis will continue throughout the negotiations. The Conference will have to return to these chapters at an appropriate moment.

The benchmarks for each chapter opened are as follows:

Chapter 7 – Intellectual property law

  • Serbia completes all necessary legislative amendments to ensure EU/EEA exhaustion of rights in all areas from the date of accession.
  • Serbia aligns its legislation with the acquis on copyrights and neighbouring rights, patents and trademarks.
  • Serbia ensures a sufficient administrative capacity to register intellectual property rights; and provides a track record of enforcement by the relevant administrative authorities and by civil and, where appropriate, criminal justice.

Chapter 29 – Customs union

  • Serbia continues to adopt legislation in the areas requiring further alignment; it should in particular align its legislation on duty relief, customs risk management and security aspects, cultural goods, and drug precursors.
  • Serbia applies its customs rules consistently and efficiently across its customs offices, notably in the areas of declaration processing, origin, simplified procedures, intellectual property rights, and selectivity of controls and risk analysis (including automated pre-arrival/pre-departure risk analysis across all modes of transport).
  • Serbia presents to the Commission comprehensive and coherent customs business and IT strategies, and reaches sufficient progress in developing all the required IT interconnectivity systems.