Foreign Trade Act

Foreign trade in goods according to the provisions of Foreign Trade Act

The basic rules of foreign trade in goods were established by the provisions of Foreign Trade Act (“Off. Herald of RS”, Nos. 36/2009, 36/2011 – other act, 88/2011 and 89/2015 – other act) (hereinafter: Foreign Trade Act).

A foreign trade involving an individual type of goods and services may be regulated separately in keeping with the World Trade Organization rules and the European Union regulations.

Also terms of export, import and transit of goods are defined by the provisions of Foreign Trade Act as follows:

  • The export of goods is carrying out, sending, i.e. delivery of goods from the territory of the Republic of Serbia to the territory of another state or customs territory, in accordance with customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia.
  • The import of goods is carrying in, supplying, i.e. delivering goods from the territory of another state or customs territory to the territory of the Republic of Serbia, in accordance with customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia.
  • The transit of goods is the crossing of goods through the customs territory of the Republic of Serbia, in accordance with customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia.

Quantitative Limitations

Quantitative limitation is the largest total amount of a certain product set according to value or quantity which may be exported or imported within a prescribed time limit. The quantitative limitation is divided into quotas, unless prescribed otherwise.

Requirements for the Introduction of a Quantitative Limitation

A quantitative limitation of imports may be introduced for the purpose of:

  • Protection against excessive imports only if it has been established that such product is being imported in such increased quantities, in absolute and relative values in relation to domestic production, and under such conditions, as will cause or threat to cause serious damage to domestic industries which are producing similar or directly competitive products., or
  • Protection of the payment balance pursuant to Arts. 35, 36 and 36a of the Foreign Trade Act.

A quantitative limitation of imports may be introduced temporarily, for the purpose of preventing critical shortages of basic products or mitigating the consequences of such shortages in the Republic of Serbia.

Quantitative limitations of imports and exports may be introduced:

  • In the cases provided by Article 11 of the Foreign Trade Act, or
  • For the purpose of application of norms or regulations on the classification, ranking or placement of goods in international trade.

The Government introduces the quantitative limitations at the proposal of the Ministry competent for foreign trade relations or other competent authority.

Quota Distribution

The Ministry competent for foreign trade relations, i.e. other competent authority distributes the quotas at the request of an applicant, in accordance with the requirements that in particular include the following:

  • Economically justified quantity of goods covered by the quota
  • Degree of exploitation of previously allocated quotas, and
  • Possibility of the quotas being allotted to the persons to which they have not been allotted in the past.

The quotas are distributed:

  • By issuing permits in a non-automatic manner for import, i.e. export of the allocated quota
  • By writing off by the competent customs authority, at the time of customs control of goods, according to the order of acceptance of a customs declaration.

An allocated quota is non-transferable. A quota may be used up within a time limit which may be longer than one year from the day of its allocation. The number of deliveries within the time limit in which a quota may be used up is not limited.

If a person fails to use up the quota in accordance with the conditions prescribed in the regulation introducing the quantitative limitation, i.e. with the quota allocation decision, the Ministry competent for foreign trade relations, i.e. another competent authority may revoke the quota allocation decision. The Government may prescribe more detailed requirements for the quota distribution.

Foreign Trade and Permits

A permit is a document which is issued at the applicant’s request for the import, export or transit of certain goods. The issuance of a permit may be automatic and non-automatic.

The automatic issuance of a permit happens when the request is approved in all cases when the prescribed documents have been supplied.

The non-automatic issuance of a permit is the issuance of a permit which is not covered by the automatic issuance.

Competence for Permit Issuance

The Ministry competent for foreign trade relations, i.e. some other competent authority, decides on the request for issuance of the permit in accordance with regulations. If necessary in the procedure for deciding on the request for issuance of the permit, the agency obtains the opinion of other authorities, organizations, institutions and associations, which are obliged to submit their opinion within the time limit set by the agency.

Permit Issuance, Use and Revocation Procedure

The request for the issuance of a permit is filed with the The Ministry competent for foreign trade relations, i.e. some other competent authority.

The request for the issuance of a permit may not be rejected because of minor imperfections of documentation which do not affect the main data included in the request.

The measures affecting foreign trade and detailed conditions for the application of measures are prescribed by the Government, at the proposal of the Ministry competent for foreign trade relations or some other competent authority that determines the issuance of an import permit, as well as the regulation that determines exemptions, exclusions or modifications of conditions for the issuance of an import permit, i.e. the list of goods imported on the basis of a permit, is published, whenever possible, 21 days before the day of commencement of its application. This regulation which, establishing exemptions from the obligation to obtain permit, must also establish criteria for these exemptions, manner of submission of applications for these exemptions, as well as a way of deciding on the demand for exemption.

The Government at the proposal of the Ministry competent for foreign trade relations i.e. some other competent authority prescribes the more detailed requirements for issuance, usage and revocation of permits, in keeping with the the World Trade Organization rules and the European Union regulations.

Special Requirements and Foreign Trade

Special Competence

If a contract, national or foreign regulation or a ratified international treaty provides that certain legal instruments are attached to the goods during export, import and transit, and the competence for the issuance and verification of such legal instruments has not been prescribed, such legal instruments are issued or verified by the agency, i.e. some other person authorized by the Government at the proposal of the Ministry competent for foreign trade relations.

At the proposal of the Ministry competent for foreign trade relations, the Government prescribes the way of issuing and verifying the legal instruments.

Sanitary, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Requirements

The goods being exported, imported, transited or put into some customs control procedure are subject to the fulfilment of sanitary, veterinary and phytosanitary requirements, in keeping with regulations. The requirements may not result in additional limitation of exports, imports or transit.

Technical Regulations and Standards

Technical regulation, in terms of the law regulating technical requirements for products and compliance assessment, may be applied to import of goods and its application may not result in an additional limitations of imports.

Compliance with standards is not a condition for importing goods.

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