The European Union has equipped a laboratory facility of the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Banja Luka with new equipment worth 400.000 EUR. The assistance was provided through the EU funded project ‘Support to the Indirect Taxation Authority’ that aims to support and enhance the work of the taxation authority system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is funded through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA funds).
“Customs legislation and practices are not yet fully aligned with the EU acquis and that is one of the reasons why this laboratory is important, because it will help BiH and all the people living in this country to adjust to EU standards in the area of customs. The second and most important reason for this laboratory is to ascertain the quality of the products being imported into this country in terms of their authenticity. It is also a question of safety and security for citizens of all ages, including children, because now it will be possible to test the quality of the products – for instance children’s toys – to be certain they are safe to be used. The third reason is to facilitate the whole administrative process, to make it easier and quicker to approve different products because even today this process is still too long” said Ambassador Lars Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and Special Representative of the EU in BiH, adding that this is also an opportunity for ITA to apply the same electronic signature already applied for taxation.
Customs laboratories are an important tool for customs and tax authorities. Their work is essential in traditional areas of customs, excise and agriculture policy, such as analyses to determine tariff classification, level of duties and other taxes. Customs laboratories are a significant tool in anti-fraud operations, determining the authenticity and origin of products, detecting illegal imports like narcotics, protecting consumers against dangerous goods or contaminated food, safeguarding the environment and endangered species.
Miro Džakula, Director of BiH ITA underlined his appreciation of the European Union for the assistance provided to the ITA saying that “From the establishment of the ITA, the EU has supported us through numerous projects with more than 35 million euro for building border crossings, buying and modernising IT equipment, equipping our laboratory, and continually providing assistance to harmonisation of customs and taxation legislation with the EU acquis.” Ale Muslimović, Head of the Customs Laboratory unit, said that the new equipment will enable them to implement around 40 new methods, and widen the spectre of examinations and analysis, supporting the ITA in the international accreditation process and alignment with the EU standards.