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Kosovo scraps tax on imports of raw materials from Serbia, Bosnia

Kosovo scraps tax on imports of raw materials from Serbia, Bosnia Head of Kosovo opposition party Self-Determination Movement (VV) Albin Kurti/LSA/All Rights Reserved

PRISTINA (Kosovo), March 23 (SeeNews) – Kosovo’s government said it has decided to abolish the 100% tax on the imports of raw materials from Serbia and Bosnia as of March 21.

By April 1, the government will remove the remaining import taxes and apply reciprocity on all matters regarding imports from Serbia and Bosnia, it said in a press release on Friday evening.

“Reciprocity is a guiding principle among countries and Kosovo is a sovereign country,” prime minister Albin Kurti said in a Twitter post after the government announced its decision.

The removal of the import tax was requested several times by EU and US officials in order to pave the way for the resumption of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

Earlier this month, the EU high representative Josep Borrell said that the swift resumption of dialogue will help achieve a comprehensive normalisation of relations.

“The current status quo is not tenable. There is no alternative to a rapid resumption of the normalisation talks between Belgrade and Pristina,” Borrell said in a statement published by the EU office in Kosovo.

Serbia withdrew from talks on the normalisation with Kosovo in November 2018, when Pristina decided to impose a 100% tax on imports of all goods produced in Serbia and Bosnia. Kosovo's government said the higher tariffs were aimed at protecting Kosovo’s sovereignty and interests.

Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far has been recognised by more than half of the 193 UN member states.