Kosovo government increases import tax on goods from Serbia and Bosnia

Povećanje poreza za robu iz Srbije i BiH
foto: Insajderi

The article has been updated.

The Kosovo government adopted a decision today which increased the tax on the import of goods from Serbia and Bosnia by 10% – in order to “protect the domestic market”. According to Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, this measure represents, „the best answer to Serbia’s destructive behavior“.

20:28 – Urgent reactions are pouring in from Belgrade.

The Serbian Chamber of Commerce announced they will write to the European Commission and the secretariat of CEFTA. They are declaring this a political decision that will have a negative effect on the Serbian entrepreneurs, Belgrade media report.

Marko Djuric, the Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija also addressed the public on this issue in an emergency media conference.
“This is a harmful, illegal measure that goes against all domestic and international regulations, both on the freedom of movement and the CEFTA agreement. This harmful measure is detrimental to citizens of every nationality that lives in Kosovo and Metohija,” Djuric said.

“I wish to inform you that with this decision, Pristina blocked the Brussels dialogue on all levels. Serbia finds that a necessary precondition for the continuation of the Brussels dialogue is the immediate discontinuation of this harmful and illegal measure,” he also stated. These messages are sent in the midst of announcements on the continuation of the talks between Thaci and Vucic.

During today’s meeting of the Kosovo government, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Endrit Shala proposed the adoption of this special measure. He said that it will apply to milk and dairy products, water, biscuits, construction materials and juices coming from Serbia and Bosnia, emphasizing that it is „international practice“.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj confirmed that there is a political aspect to this measure.

„Serbia is allocating huge sums of money in order to damage the state of Kosovo, and much of that money comes from trade with our country,“ Hoxhaj said.

„This is the best answer to Serbia’s destructive behavior,“ he added and urged citizens not to buy Serbian products.

„I believe that from today both the (money) suitcase and Ivica Dacic will be smaller and thinner when working against Kosovo,“ Hoxhaj said, Pristina-based Insajderi reported.

Although the proposal was adopted, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said that this measure does not affect international brands produced in Serbia and Bosnia.

„Coca Cola is not affected by this decision,“ Haradinaj said.

He posted on his Facebook profile that this decision was made in order to protect the domestic market.

An article entitled “Kosovo is confined to ‘Made in Serbia’ goods” recently appeared in Kosovo media.

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