Source: Beta | Sunday, 05.11.2017.| 11:26
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Belgrade to start implementing countermeasures towards Pristina over flour fee

Illustration (Photo: S_Photo/
Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia Rasim Ljajic announced that Serbia would start implementing certain countermeasures against Kosovo due to its refusal to change the decision regarding implementing the fee on the import of flour from Serbia, beginning with Friday, November 3, 2017.

– We will be stepping up these measures successively, depending on how the situation develops. We are not happy for it, but the statement of the Kosovan minister leaves us with no maneuvering space for a political, diplomatic, decent solution to this problem – Ljajic told Beta.

He pointed out that he couldn’t discuss concrete countermeasures.

– We will do only what’s in line with international standards and our laws. We will not be implementing measures that might conflict with the CEFTA or the European Commission – Ljajic emphasized.

He estimated that this would send a clear signal that Serbia would not tolerate such behavior and implementation of measures without a realistic basis.

– We have also addressed Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, asking for an answer as to whether this kind of behavior is worthy of Europe – Ljajic said about Kosovo’s move and added that a single economic area in the region had been discussed for months and that an action plan had been adopted before the unheard of happened – Kosovo’s announcement of leaving the CEFTA.

Minister of Trade and Industry of Kosovo Bajram Hasani stated on Thursday, November 2, 2017, that Pristina would not change the decision on implementing the fee on the import of flour, “despite Serbia’s threats”.

He announced the possibility of implementation of other antidumping fees and the possibility of Kosovo’s withdrawal from the Central European Free Zone Agreement.

Hasani confirmed that he would take part in the meeting of the CEFTA secretariat in Belgrade, where Kosovo will take over the presidency over the organization.

According to the Customs Administration of Kosovo, over 23,000 tons of flour, amounting to EUR 5 million, was imported to Kosovo from January till October 2017.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo implemented protective measures in favor of local flour traders by installing a fee of 0.04 cents per kilogram for flour imported from Serbia on October 23.

According to Kosovan media, the decision was adopted following the complaints by the company M & Sillosi and the Millers Union of Kosovo, as it had been determined that flour was imported from Serbia to Kosovo at prices below the market value, that is, the production value.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo estimated that this brought the functioning of the mill industry in Kosovo into question.

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