It is still unknown whether the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) will decide on the introduction of the obligatory negative PCR test results for those entering BiH. On the other hand, there are fewer and fewer Croatian citizens who come from the areas near the border to shop in BiH.
The current state of the Izacic border crossing (in Bosnian: GP) – just a few vehicles at the entrance to BiH. Foreign citizens must have a negative PCR test, not older than 48 hours in case of entering our country. However, this does not apply to all foreign citizens.
“Exceptions are citizens of Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia who enter BiH from their home countries. They are not required to have a PCR test, nor do their spouses and minor children who are foreign nationals, ” said Merima Zajkic, shift manager at the GP Izacic.
However, this could be changed in the following period. Due to the worsening of the epidemiological situation in our country, the Government of Canton Sarajevo (CS) has decided to ask the Council of Ministers to adopt measures for mandatory possession of a negative PCR test for all persons entering BiH. Representatives of touristic workers spoke about this conclusion. Among other things, they demand that BiH citizens be excluded from this decision regarding a mandatory negative PCR test.
“We believe it would be a disaster for the citizens of BiH. In that case, the travel agencies that sold out the arrangements would have to take a double test. When they go to, let’s say to Dubai and Turkey they have to retest when they return to BiH. They would put travel agencies in an unenviable position, ” told Aida Terzic, Advisory Body for Economic and Economic Affairs of CS.
Besides coronavirus, the reason is also the decision of the authorities in the Republic of Croatia that citizens of that country can bring goods of up to 300 kunas from BiH without customs clearance and payment of taxes. All of this has left a mark on the business of domestic companies.
“The amounts that Croatian citizens can buy from us have been decreased. It used to be 300 euros, now it is 300 kuna. If these decisions remain in force, it will continue to significantly affect the revenues of companies in the area which is bordering with the Republic of Croatia, ” stated Adnan Kurtovic, CEO of company “Westal”.
According to the Indirect Taxation Authority of BiH, with this decision, the Republic of Croatia is trying to protect its trade in a way that its citizens buy as little as possible in other countries. This, just like the coronavirus pandemic, will lead to revenue decline from indirect taxes in BiH.
“For all these years, the Indirect Taxation Authority has recorded a significant increase in revenues each year. That did not happen in 2020. We have collected in the gross amount of about 7.3 billion BAM, which is approximately about 700 million BAM less than the revenues from 2019 “, said Ratko Kovacevic, spokesman for the Indirect Taxation Authority of BiH.
In this situation where more and more BiH citizens are being infected with the coronavirus, saving lives is the number one priority. However, the BiH authorities must find a way to preserve some economy we have left.