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Croatia introduces 22 times higher tax on imported food, Serbia calls customers to think twice

Staff Writer |
Croatia's introduction of non-tariff barriers is a drastic violation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, says Serbia's trade and tourism minister.

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For this reason, Rasim Ljajic explained Serbia will address the European Commission, and ask for the decision of Croatia, an EU member, to be reconsidered.

Earlier, Belgrade media reported that the neighboring country had expanded the list of fruit and vegetables coming from third countries - including Serbia - must undergo phytosanitary checks at the border, and at the same time set new taxes, 22 times higher than before.

Ljajic, who also serves as one of deputy PMs, added that, as far as Serbia's reaction to this decision is concerned, some of the measures related to enhanced phytosanitary supervision are already being implemented.

The minister quoted Article 36, paragraph 1, (of the SAA) which states that “from the date of entry into force of this Agreement, no new customs duties on imports or exports or charges having equivalent effect shall be introduced," the Serbian government said on its website.

He announced that Belgrade would contact regional countries, primarily Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina - that are also affected by this Croatian measure - in order to jointly appear before the European Commission and protect their economic interests.

In the meantime, a consumer association called Serbian consumer to think twice before they buy Croatian goods.

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