According to the European Commission, The EU-Algeria Association Agreement was signed in April 2002 and entered into force in September 2005.  This Europe Algeria Association Free Trade Agreement sets out a framework for the EU-Algeria relationship in all areas including trade.

In 2012 Algeria and the EU launched consultations on an Action Plan that will set out anticipated actions and priorities over a five-year timeframe.  It will serve to support co-operation and further exploit the potential of the Association Agreement.

Algeria is in the process of accession to the WTO, with strong support from the European Union.

An interview of Dr. A. Mebtoul, an Algerian university professor by Radio France Internationale (RFI) was broadcast on Saturday 27 February 2016 and following that an essay in French of the professor was published on RFI’s website. 

Here is the English translation of that article.

No failure in the Free Trade Agreement of the Europe – Algeria Association

By Professor Dr Abderrahmane Mebtoul,

  1. After some real concern of the international community and many Algerian operators, according to information sourced from the most senior level of the Algerian authorities,  “Algeria having always due respect for its international commitments, will comply with the rules governing international trade providing for quantitative restrictions (licenses) when a member country of the balance of payment have difficulties.  There is no question of breaking the Association Agreement which binds it to Europe, its main economic partner is in negotiations for a win / win partnership.  “The latest measures come within the framework of strict respect of the commitments which the Algerian government signed with Sovereignty. According to reports invalidations, deductibles considered “obsolete are those that focus exclusively on products listed in both open mind” of import licenses. It is therefore of vehicles, concrete reinforcing bars, cement and some agricultural and food products. Other products under the franchise of duty are not concerned. ” Algeria is a key partner of the international community with the geopolitical tensions in the region. There is no question that it is isolated as the postulate some Algerian currents loss and bad publicity seeking to destabilize Algeria. According to information collected in from many European and US officials, the stability of Algeria affects the stability of both the Mediterranean that Africa
  2. The information I gathered from the Algerian government, provide the following information to avoid confusion on the part of the rent of tenants misleading as the Algerian population yardstick weak economic culture as local operators that foreigners are not the terms of the old import licenses. Algeria intends to respect its international commitments and comply with the rules governing international trade, including those of the WTO provide for quantitative restrictions when a member country of the balance of payment difficulties.
  • The Freedom of trade and industry, non-public distinction private sector is the foundation of economic and commercial policy of the Algerian government, consecrated by all the provisions of Algerian law provisions contained in the new Algerian constitution
  • In this context, this legislation along the lines of what is provided by the legislation of several open economies in Europe and elsewhere, the possibility to use in specific and predefined cases, transition to upgrade the productive, import licenses or export neutral in application and administered in a fair and equitable way to handle exceptions to the freedom of trade and in accordance with WTO rules.
  • The first law reaffirms the freedom to import and export products, without prejudice to the rules on public morality, safety and public order, the protection of human health, as well as ‘the preservation of the environment and the historical and cultural heritage.
  • The grounds for establishment of import or export licenses including the restriction of trade in certain exhaustible natural resources guarantee for the domestic industry to the availability of processing locally produced raw materials, supply market products that would be felt shortage and safeguarding the external financial balances of the country. “
  • It’s In this context that the government amended the Ordinance 03-04 of 19 July 2003 on general rules applicable to the importation and exportation of goods, amendments to enable to upgrade the legislation in accordance the rules of an open economy.
  • Unlike the restrictive licensing system previously applied in the 1970s, for importation, these licenses are defined as administrative procedures in the WTO rules and are designed to ensure better quality and product safety to protect human health, animal and plant.
  • Reference to the WTO, the texts stipulate that import licenses are administrative procedures requiring, as a condition for importing goods, the presentation to the competent administrative body of an application that is distinct documents required for customs purposes, the Government states that this type of license does not result in a restriction or distortion of imports.
  • Is the control by the administration only concerns aspects of quality and compliance and not the commercial aspects, to ensure the fairness of commercial transactions, and, whether among the community of traders themselves when making their trade or between the retailer and the consumer while the old regime was to the distribution of an amount of foreign currency on importers’ (end of the match).
  • It has never been said that Algeria breaks the Association as it will continue to negotiate its accession to the WTO Agreement, membership contained in the program of the President of the Republic. But that membership can only be to the detriment of the best interests of Algeria intends to benefit from the Doha Agreements providing a transition period for the third world countries.
  1. In summary, Algeria, according to our sources, while preserving its own interests as any country intends to comply with international agreements, including the Association Agreement with Europe, continue negotiations with the WTO representing 97% of world trade, 85% of the world population, with the accession of Russia and Saudi Arabia in addition to China. There is no question of the Agreement that would discredit the image of Algeria internationally, and that contrary to tendentious statements. In my view the debate lies elsewhere: how the fall of hydrocarbon prices deepen structural reforms to pension off a strategy, and there the contradictory debate is useful, the person has the monopoly of truth. In the twenty-first century, economic battles are won through good governance and enhancement of knowledge involving a more citizen participation within a rule of law. The Algeria to avoid destabilizing must begin urgently genuine structural reforms assuming the language of truth, the moralization of society and a minimum of social consensus. The recovery is possible.  Algeria without chauvinism, has all the potential to become a pivotal country in the region, is its natural place in the Euro-Mediterranean region, while not forgetting the African continent, strengthening integration of the Maghreb being strategic if we want to attract investors interested not by micro-states but by large space countries.  For further details, refer to my interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI) Paris, France – broadcast on Saturday 27 February 2016 and titled “Faced with the fall of hydrocarbon prices, outlook for the Algerian economy.”