Albania-Kosovo trade dispute continues

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 5, 2019 12:27

Albania-Kosovo trade dispute continues

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  • “Our governments should sit down and solve the problems our enterprises are facing and that is the forum's duty and I am convinced that by July 30 we will come up with an action plan if our governments do not take into account the requirements of the two countries.”

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TIRANA, July 3- Chairman of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce Nikolin Jaka, announced today that a working group has been established with coordinators the Kosovo Economic Chamber and Tirana Chamber of Commerce, which will collect and filter all issues between Albania and Kosovo by July 15. This working group was set up after the May 21 “Opportunities and Aid for Trade Relations between Albania and Kosovo” Conference in Tirana, which highlighted the great obstacles that the two countries are experiencing. In a survey with Kosovo’s entrepreneurships, Albania ranked second in the barriers to doing business with after Serbia. On the other hand, the Albanian entreprises have expressed its own reservations about the obstacles of doing business with a focus on export.

“The policy of our two countries needs to be oriented towards the economy,” Jaka said. “Our governments should sit down and solve the problems our enterprises are facing and that is the forum’s duty and I am convinced that by July 30 we will come up with an action plan if our governments do not take into account the requirements of the two countries.”

The Tirana Chamber of Commerce appealed publicly to all Albanian enterprises that export to Kosovo that by July 15 to advertise in writing the issues they encountered during the exercise of their activity in Kosovo. Jaka said that the number of Albanian ventures that export to Kosovo does not exceed 800 commercial entities, referring to data of the first six months of 2019. He added that this figure is exceptionally low compared to the potentials the enterprises have.

Earlier, Kosovo authorities had warned that on July 1 they would set trade barriers against Albania, similar to those Albania has against Kosovo. There was no reaction from the Albanian government towards these claims however, as it was busy with local elections. Now the new deadline seems to be July 30, and unless measures won’t been taken by then, it is learned that businesses are set to react by blocking both sides of the border.

The Kosovo Manufacturers Club has assessed the main non-tariff barriers, whereby in each export the Albanian authorities require the original or notarized copy of the Quality Certificate for products subject to phytosanitary and veterinary control. Customs clearance procedures in Albania, payment of scanner, notarization of analysis, toll payments on the Nation’s Road, failure to take into account the invoice price by the Albanian Customs, implementation of the high excise rate for the beer sector, are some of the obstacles to which increase the cost of production but also lower the level of competitiveness of Kosovo products in the Albanian market.

Consequently, Kosovo businesses have requested the removal of payment for scanner in the Republic of Albania for all Kosovo-Albania import-export trades; recognition of certification and sanitary gain analysis of all products subject to these tests and certificates; acceleration of customs procedures in dealing with trade and economic circulation between the two countries; to completely abolish the 22.5 euros toll prices for both countries’ trucks, as the same poses an obstacle to economic development and cooperation between the two countries. Removal of all barriers including beer excise. For Albanian businesses, the main obstacles are the truck parking fees of 40 euros per day and the lack of phytosanitary certificates acknowledging.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 5, 2019 12:27