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news 19 Dec 12

Kosovo and Serbia Reach Deal on Customs

Serbia and Kosovo have agreed that goods intended for the Serb-run northern area of Kosovo can enter Kosovo duty free.

Belgrade

As of December 20, excise goods weighing up to 3.5 tons, and all non-excise goods intended for the Serb-run northern part of Kosovo, can enter Kosovo from Serbia duty-free.

The deal followed a meeting of Kosovo and Serbia representatives in Brussels on Tuesday.

Dejan Pavicevic, head of Belgrade's negotiating team in the EU-led dialogue, said the deal matched the border agreement reached earlier by the Serbian and Kosovo Prime Ministers, Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci.

Dacic and Thaci have met three times and reached a landmark deal on implementation of a border agreement, and on appointment of liaison officers to monitor its implementation.

Under the deal, Kosovo and Serbian customs and police will all stand under one roof on the border crossings.

Pavicevic explained that the customs deal meant that “documents will only be copied for statistical data” would not cause any problems.

He said that Serbia would suspend the agreement on border management if it felt it was being violated, and if Kosovo customs duty was exacted on non-excise goods weighing up to 3.5 tons.

EU-led talks between Serbia and Kosovo started in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.

So far, the two sides have reached deals on the freedom of movement, university diplomas, representation at regional meetings and on trade. Not all the deals have been implemented, however.

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