Trade Policy and Regulations in Tunisia
Foreign Trade in Figures
The current account of Tunisia is structurally deficient. The balance of trade in services is positive, but it can't offset the deficit of the trade balance. In 2008 and 2009 Tunisia showed a trade balance deficit of 10% of the GDP because of the surge in oil prices. After a slight improvement during the year 2010, a deterioration of the current account was again expected for 2011. In this context, the impact of the political events of early 2011 shouldn't reverse this trend.
Tunisia is following through its policy to open up its economy and has signed an association agreement (summary in French) with the European Union, removing tariff and trade barriers on most goods. It also signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States, which will later become a free trade agreement. During the first half of 2010, the country experienced a dynamic resumption of foreign trade, especially an increase in exports of mechanical, electric and electronic goods. However, this growth also brought about a worsening of the trade balance, due to trade in agricultural products and energy.
Tunisia's main import and export partners are the European Union, Libya, Russia and China. France remains its first supplier, despite a decrease of two points (19.4% against 21.5% in 2009). Tunisia's main export goods are textile and leather, mechanical and electrical products, food products and energy products. The country imports raw and semi-finished materials, equipment goods, consumption goods (other than food) and financial and insurance services.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||15,007||19,099||24,638||19,096||22,218|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||11,694||15,165||19,320||14,445||16,427|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||2,338||2,674||3,226||2,812||2,857|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||4,162||4,769||5,831||5,241||5,192|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||8||6||8||7||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||5||8||4||-2||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-2,513||-2,876||-4,010||-3,699||-|
|Current Account (million USD)||-619||-917||-1,711||-1,234||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||103||109||125||107||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||53||56||64||55||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||50||53||60||52||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||30.0%|
(% of Imports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||45.3%|
- Main International Economic Cooperation
- Member of
World Trade Organisation
Member of the UMA (Arab Maghreb Union)
Bilateral agreements with the European Union.
The country is also part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), a pact of the Arab League entered into force in January 2005 which aims to form an Arabic free trade area.
- Assessment of Commercial Policy
Tunisia and WTO
Barriers to exchanges
- Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
From 10% to 230%, according to the product.
Tunisia sometimes applies anti-dumping duties for which the basis and the reasons for application are not clearly defined and which can sometimes be considered as minimum prices for the calculation of Customs duties.
- Useful Resources
Directorate General of Customs
- National Organization of Intellectual Property
- The National Institute for Standardization and Industrial Property (INNORPI)
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