Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH Mirko Sarovic confirmed for Klix.ba news portal that the Kosovo side, at the request of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has accepted bilateral negotiations regarding the decision to introduce 100 percent tax on products from BiH.
Sarovic added that the intense preparations for bilateral meetings at the expert level are in the process, and all is done in order to reach an adequate solution and prevent further consequences caused by controversial taxes.
“We cannot predict the outcome, but it is important that we have opened negotiations at the expert level. Instead of introducing countermeasures that would not be of benefit to anyone, we have created the conditions for solving problems at a professional level because our primary goal is to protect domestic businessmen, “Sarovic said.
Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj stated on Monday that the Kosovo government is ready to temporarily abolish tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with international guarantees for signing a final agreement that will result in Kosovo’s recognition.
Haradinaj said that tariffs will continue to be in effect “as long as we have suggestions for unsuccessful meetings, without goals and clearly defined deadlines, without compromise agreements, without international guarantees that a final agreement will be signed, which, as the end result, will have a recognition”, he wrote on Facebook.
“I am deeply convinced that there is a possibility of achieving a comprehensive legal agreement with Serbia, which will result in recognition. The Government of Kosovo is ready to temporarily abolish customs duties only after international guarantees,” Haradinaj added.
On 21st November, Kosovo imposed a 100% tariff on all goods produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, increasing the 10% tariffs that were imposed on 6th November. The tariffs contradict the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) of which all three territories are signatories. Kosovo has issued similar tariffs before and regularly claims that its products are not treated equally in other CEFTA members’ markets, but it is also seeking to use tariffs for political purposes.
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.