According to a letter sent to the prime minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, Serbia is requested by the European Commission to withdraw the implemented levies on the import of milk and dairy products.
Concern over the various trade restrictions implemented by Serbia in the past months, including the recently implemented levies, importing fees on milk and dairy products, is expressed in a letter sent by the EC to Brnabic.
The levies were not discussed with the EU before implementation, so the EC is calling Serbia to withdraw these restrictive measures.
As the EC confirmed, the obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU were not met by Serbia, because it didn’t consult the EU before implementing those measures and because a satisfactory justification for their implementation wasn’t provided.
Serbia is invited by the letter to withdraw the implemented measures, and unjustified new trade restrictions violating the conditions from the Regulation 1215/2009 and the amended Regulation 2020/2172 are pointed out.
The decision pertaining 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 was adopted by the Government of Serbia on February 17. The decision was made public by the Ministry of Agriculture of Serbia on February 20.
A positive reaction of agriculturists followed to the implementation of the import fees when it comes to milk, but the implementation of considerably higher levies on Kashkaval and hard cheeses (ten times as high as the current ones) is still being called for by them.
Milk producers’ protests continue. The Sabac Bridge was blocked for two hours on Friday, March 10. The protestors demanded the rise of the milk premiums to RSD 20, the increase of subsidies to RSD 40,000 per head of livestock, the implementation of levies on the import of prepared dairy products and the determination of guaranteed purchase price of milk.