European Commission Requests Serbia to Withdraw Levies on Import of Milk and Dairy Products

The European Commission is requesting Serbia to withdraw the implemented levies on the import of milk and dairy products, as stated in a letter sent to the prime minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, the EC confirmed for N1.

The EC sent a letter to Brnabic expressing concern over the various trade restrictions that Serbia has implemented in the past months, including the recently implemented levies, importing fees on milk and dairy products, as confirmed for N1 by the EC.

Serbia did not consult the EU before implementing the levies, so the EC is calling for these restrictive measures to be withdrawn.

– Serbia did not met the obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, because it didn’t consult the EU before implementing those measures and because it didn’t provide a satisfactory justification for their implementation – the EC confirmed for N1.

The letter invites Serbia to withdraw the implemented measures and points out that the unjustified new trade restrictions violate the conditions from the Regulation 1215/2009 and the amended Regulation 2020/2172.

On February 17, the Government of Serbia adopted the decision that pertains to the implementation of levies (import fees) of RSD 15 per liter of milk and RSD 30 per kilogram of seven types of cheese – Emmental, Cheddar, Edam, Tilsit, Kashkaval, Maasdam and Gouda. The Ministry of Agriculture of Serbia made the decision public on February 20.

Agriculturists have reacted positively to the implementation of the import fees when it comes to milk, but they are still calling for the implementation of considerably higher levies on Kashkaval and hard cheeses – ten times as high as the current ones.

Milk producers continue protesting. On Friday, March 10, they blocked the Sabac Bridge for two hours, demanding for the milk premiums to be raised to RSD 20, for the subsidies to increase to RSD 40,000 per head of livestock, for levies on the import of prepared dairy products to be implemented and for the guaranteed purchase price of milk to be determined.

Illustration (Photo: Pixabay / Diana Lavrova)

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