The export of goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to Kosovo is almost completely blocked after introducing an additional 100 percent tax, said General Director of Kosovo Customs Bahri Berisa.
Kosovo government decided to increase the 100 percent tax on goods from Serbia and BiH on November 21stlast year, and on New Year’s Eve this measure was extended to the goods of foreign companies that produce in Serbia.
Berisa says that in the period before the taxes were introduced, the trade amounted to a total of 60 million euros from both countries, and now it is only a few hundred thousand, Berisa told “GazetaExpres”.
According to him, the introduction of measures by the Kosovo government is done in order to increase domestic production.
Berisa says that goods mostly from Serbia, then from Germany, Turkey, Italy, China and, finally, Albania, were on the market of Kosovo.
He notes that the one-month period was short to enter into new contracts for the supply of goods that would replace the goods from Serbia and BiH on the Kosovo market.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been damaged by 4.5 million U.S. dollars since Kosovo government introduced taxes on products from BiH, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH Mirko Sarovic said for Klix.ba news portal.
The Kosovo Government adopted the decision to introduce protective measures for imports of all products produced in Serbia and BiH at the beginning of November this year, putting a 10 percent tax on all products and afterwards, increased the tax to 100 percent.
“For a month of applying tax on goods from BiH, goods less for 4.5 million BAM were exported to Kosovo, in relation to the same period last year when goods worth almost 12 million BAM were exported,” Sarovic said..
“Extension of the tariffs cannot be tolerated and goes completely against the basic principles of trade within CEFTA [Central European Free Trade Agreement].”
The European Union also views the tariffs as a violation of CEFTA, and has asked the Kosovo authorities for an explanation.