Member of CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement). It also has Free Trade agreements with Turkey and Ukraine, and Stabilization and Association agreements with the European Union.
Non Tariff Barriers
Non-tariff barriers have been suppressed.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duty's average rate is less than 7%, on a downward trend. Maximum tax is 60%. It is applied to products such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, beverages and tobacco. Minimum tax is 0%, applied to materials used for the industry of textiles.
Classification is based on the Harmonized System Codes (HS Code).
In order to import products to FYROM, the following documents must be submitted: - Single Administrative Document (DAU or SAD); - The invoice indicating price and quantity; - Documents attesting the application of preferential rates: Certificate of origin, etc.; - Shipping documents: bill of lading, etc.; - Insurance; - Packing list.
North Macedonia's retail sales rose by a real 7.1% year-on-year at the end of May 2018, according to the country's statistical office, Makstat. In nominal terms, retail sales grew by 10.8% on the year in May 2018.
Since North Macedonia is a land-locked country, sea freight arrives primarily from the port of Thessaloniki in Greece, and less frequently from the ports in Piraeus (Greece) and Durres (Albania). Air freight arrives at one of North Macedonia’s two airports: in Skopje and Ohrid. Information about cargo operations at Skopje’s airport can be found here. Goods also arrive overland by truck and by rail.
In North Macedonia, most consumer goods are imported by distributors who resell to retailers. A few retailers import goods directly for sale in their own outlets. North Macedonia's retail sector is dominated by small shops. There are a few shopping malls in North Macedonia, including Skopje City Mall, which opened in 2012. Most of the typical distribution channels are available, although they often lack the sophistication found in EU markets. Two large foreign supermarket chains are present in the market: Vero (part of the Greek Veropoulos group) and Turkish Ramstore. Local grocery retailers include Tinex and Kam Market.
Even though the country is small, there is not a major leader in the distributing market. This market is very fragmented: there are many independent sellers, small shops and stands, supermarkets, street vendors, etc.
Specialized stores are quickly expanding in the larger cities.
The Greek supermarket chain Veropulos (also known as Vero) dominates the market, there are 11 stores in the country and plans to continue expanding (by the end of 2017)
The Turkish supermarket chain Ramstore supplies telecommunication products and services, it is the leader chain with more than 40 stores in the country.
By the end of 2017, North Macedonia had a population of 2 million people, out of which 1.5 million were internet users, making the penetration rate 75.9% - a growth of 10% compared to 2016. Wi-fi is widely available in restaurants, cafes, hotels and hostels, although free wi-fi is not always advertised in food and drink venues. Some hotels have computers in common areas. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored the 'Macedonian Connects' project, which helped to make North Macedonia the first all-broadband wireless country in the world. Wireless access is available to about 95% of the population, even those living in remote mountain villages where people do not have phones. According to CIA World Factbook, North Macedonia ranks 92nd in the world in regards to the number of internet hosts, and 79th when it comes to fixed internet broadband subscriptions. In 2016, 61% of people in North Macedonia used the internet every day or almost every day, and 81% of internet users accessed the internet using mobile phones (most of which were aged between 15 to 24). In 2018, North Macedonia was ranked as the country with the25th highest 4G LTE penetration rate in the world, 82.62%. With no government restrictions on access to the internet, the new challenges are privacy, fake news and hate speech. As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (95.05%), followed by Yahoo (2.62%) and Bing (1.92%). As for browsers, the most popular ones were Chrome (77.37%), Safari (7.39%), Firefox (7.29%), Opera (2.14%), Samsung Internet (1.9%), and IE (1.2%).
E-commerce is growing in North Macedonia but is still relatively low, both in terms of local merchants selling and consumers shopping online. According to Statista, 5% of enterprises in North Macedonia made B2C e-commerce sales through a website in 2016. According to UNCTAD reports, 19.3% of internet users ordered online in 2016, out of which 40.8% of orders were made from local companies, 20.7% of them from the EU and 58.6% from the rest of the world. In 2016, consumers spent US$ 95 million on online purchases of clothing and sports equipment (55%), electronic equipment (16.3%), and household goods (13.1%). However, several barriers to e-commerce persist: lack of purchasing power, underdeveloped financial systems and a legal and regulatory framework that is not fully up to date. Moreover, many local consumers have poor ITC literacy and lack knowledge of e-commerce. North Macedonia's payment systems are outdated, especially when it comes to mobile commerce. Online transactions originating in North Macedonia have been blocked or restricted by several major e-commerce sites, including Amazon and e-Bay, which halts cross border commerce. Some of the most popular domestic e-commerce websites are grouper.mk, anhoch.com and setec.mk, while the most popular foreign e-commerce website is AliExpress.
Organizing Goods Transport
Main Useful Means of Transport
The main transportation means are by road or by rail.
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