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Albanian exports under threat

Kosovo warns of second trade war

What seem to be threats of a trade war have been uttered by Kosovo against Albanian products exported to that nation. More specifically, Kosovo has decided that if by July 1, 2019 the Albania government hasn’t abolished the provisional tariff measures on imports from Kosovo products such as potatoes, beer, onions, and also to facilitate fees from the scanning tariff and the Nation’s Road, and some phytosanitary certification, then Kosovo will increase costs on Albania’s exports.

Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Fatmir Limaj has expressed an agitation against Albania, as his country has always implemented all requests to help to Albanian businesses, whereas the neighbour country has been postponing actions for more than five years. A resistance from the Albanian side for Kosovan products has been admitted by the Chief of the Kosovo Chamber of Economy Berat Rukiqi, and the Chief of the Albanian Chamber of Commerce Nikolin Jaka.

Kosovo has made six requests for trade facilitations that Albania should implement until July 1 in order to avoid added barriers and customs fees. First, it is required to remove barriers to excise imports for Kosovo beer, requiring the same excise price of 15.12 lek on the amount of 200 hectoliters. Secondly, the Albanian government must abolish the temporary trade barriers to potatoes and onions coming to Kosovo’s markets. Thirdly, Albania needs to remove the barriers in quantity limitations in the importing Kosovo flour, as well as for the recognition of associated certificates. Fourthly, the unification of phytosanitary certificates for products manufactured in Kosovo that tend to be exported to Albania. Fifthly, lifting the scanning fee for Kosovo businesses. And lastly, to ease the National Road’s toll fee for Kosovo trucks by 22.5 euros.

For January-April 2019, Kosovo imported goods worth about 66 million euros from Albania, with a 66 percent increase compared to the same period of the previous year. While Kosovo exported almost three times less goods to Albania, worthing only 17 million euros, or 8 percent less than the same period last year. Nevertheless, for the period January 2018-May 2019, Albania has imported from Kosovo 1.3 million euros worth of beer and potatoes, while it has exported only 113 thousand euros from its beer to Kosovo, and 189 percent less potatoes towards the neighbouring country. On the other hand, during the same period Albania has exported to Kosovo 132 thousand euros worth of onions or 97 percent more than imported. The most valuable product imported from Kosovo is the flour. For the period January 2018- May 2019 Albania has imported 2.3 million euros of Kosovo flour, while it has exported only 111 thousand euros.

The requests should be resolved in June, otherwise the government of Kosovo has threatened to impose additional measures in procedures and tariffs for the most exported Albanian products to Kosovo, says tiranatimes.com.


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