BiH Trade Minister comments on Kosovo Customs Tax Decision

November 23, 2018 10:00 AM

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH’s) Trade Minister Mirko Sarovic said here Thursday that the country asks from Kosovo to immediately terminate the 100 percent customs duties on imported BiH products.

“BiH Council of Ministers adopted two conclusions on Thursday. The first concerns Kosovo decision that is in opposition to Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and we are asking Kosovo to put these discriminatory measures immediately out of force,” Sarovic stated after the meeting.

He highlighted that Kosovo’s decision “is the most serious violation of the CEFTA agreement in the last 12 years”, adding that CEFTA is now absolutely shaken and the question of the status of this agreement is raised.

“The Council of Ministers has asked the European Commission to engage in this problem that threatens to disrupt the free trade zone of CEFTA,” he added.

Sarovic adds that BiH has not been informed or consulted at all when it comes to Kosovo decision, but that it does not consider countermeasures because the country wants to give the Kosovo side and the European Commission the opportunity to resolve the case in a different way.

Kosovo government decided on Wednesday that products imported from BiH and Serbia will be charged with 100 percent customs duties instead of 10 percent posed on Nov. 2018.

Exports from BiH to Kosovo amount to 120 million KM (70 million U.S. dollars) annually. Most exported products are milk, oil and paper, amounting to 4.0 percent of exports to CEFTA countries. After Kosovo decision, 10,000 working places in BiH are endangered, experts say.

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