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news 18 Jul 13

Bosnia Bans Croatian Meat Imports

More than 50 Croatian companies have been banned from exporting to Bosnia because they do not fulfill EU standards of production.

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Bosnia's Trade Minister, Mirko Sarovic, said that 53 Croatian firms working in the meat production and processing business and in animal food production are no longer able to export to Bosnia.

"The decision about the import shut-down is the logical sequence of circumstances arising from Croatia's admission into the European Union, because officials concluded that Croatian companies should be required to fulfill all EU conditions when exporting, just as Bosnia is required to do the same when exporting to Croatia," Sarovic said.

According to Sarovic, the majority of firms banned from importing to Bosnia were slaughterhouses.

These had met the conditions for exporting to Bosnia under the terms of the Central European Free Trade Agreement, CEFTA. But, after Croatia joined the EU on July 1, it automatically left CEFTA.

The final list of all Croatian companies that can no longer export to Bosnia is yet to be completed and announced.

Ljubomir Kalaba, director of the Bosnian Veterinary Bureau, explained that before Croatia's admission into the EU, export-import relations between the two countries were based on mutual guarantees for which the grounds no longer exist.

Last year, Bosnia imported more three times more meat than it exported. The largest quantity of imported meat came from Croatia.

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