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Foreign trade operations

Foreign trade operations

Foreign trade operations

Foreign trade operations in the Republic of Serbia are governed by the Law on Foreign Trade operations (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, “ No. 36/09, 36/11and 88/11).

 

This Law regulates foreign trade transactions in compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the legislation of the European Union (EU), as well as responsibility of the Foreign Investment and Export Promotion Agency.

 

Foreign trade transactions, for the purpose of this Law, encompass:

  • foreign trade in goods and services and 
  • performance of economic activities by foreign persons in the Republic of Serbia and by domestic persons in other country or customs territory.

1.  Principles of foreign trade operations

 

The principles prescribed by the Law on Foreign Trade Operations are the following:

  • freedom of  forign trade in goods;
  • the most favoured nation treatment;
  • national treatment;
  • prohibition of quantitative restrictions;
  • transparency;
  • confidentiality of information.

2. Foreign trade in goods and services

 

Foreign trade  in goods and services means trade between domestic and foreign persons performed on the basis of contracts concluded in accordance with domestic regulations and international agreements. 

 

For the purposes of this Law, domestic person means any legal person, a branch office of domestic or foreign legal person and entrepreneur that are established or registered in the Republic of Serbia, as well as natural person with domicile in the Republic of Serbia, except natural person with domicile or residence outside the Republic of Serbia for more than a year. The foreign person means any person not listed  as domestic person in the law.

 

2.1. Foreign trade in goods

 

Foreign trade in  goods usually includes  export, import and transit. 

 

Export of goods means taking out, sending, or shipment of goods from the territory of the Republic of Serbia to the territory of other country or customs teritory, in accordance with the customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia.

 

Import of goods means bringing in,  delivery or shipment of goods from the territory of another country or customs territory to the territory of the Republic of Serbia, in accordance with the customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia.

 

Transit of goods means the movement of goods across the Republic of Serbia, in accordance with the  customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia.

 

Under the circumstances prescribed by the Law on Foreign Trade Operations, the Governement may introduce quantitative restrictions for certain goods. That means the maximum total volume of a good, expressed in value or in quantity, which may be exported or imported within a prescribed time limit. Except otherwice prescribed, quantitative restrictions are divided into quotas. Moreover, the obligation to apply for a license my be prescribed for exports, imports or transit of certain goods. Licenses are issued by the competent Ministry, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and by-law regulations adopted for its enforcement.

 

Issuance of licenses and distribution of quotas is governed by the Regulation on Specific Conditions for Issuing, Using and Abolishing of Licenses for Export, Import and Transit of Goods and on Allocation of Quotas (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No.47/10).

 

Were a contract, domestic or foreign regulations, or a ratified international agreement, provides that goods in export, import or transit are accompanied by specific documents, and the competence for issuance or cerification of these documents is not prescribed, the documents are issued and certified by the authority or a person  assigned by the Governement, on the proposal of the Ministry. The manner of issuance and certification of these documents is prescribeed by the Regulation on the Manner of Issuance  and Certification of Documents  Accompanying Goods in Export or Import for which the Competence for Issuance and Certification is not Prescribed (“Officiial Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 7/10).


D31;U31  Permit issued by the Ministry responsible for international trade >>> 
D37;U37  Permit or approval issued by the Ministry responsible for health   >>>
D34 Permit or approval issued by the Ministry responsible for environmental protection   >>>
D44  Permit issued by the Agency for the Protection against Ionising Radiation and Nuclear Safety of Serbia   >>>
U78 Certificate of conformity or decision issued by relevant Ministry about the recognition of foreign certificates, i.e. sign of conformity pursuant to the Law on Technical Requirements for Products and Conformity Assessment and other relevant technical and special regulations  >>> 
U62  Document on homologation issued by the Road Traffic Safety Agency  >>>  
U43  Certificate of conformity (Certificate of conformity or Excerpt from the records about issued certificates of conformity) issued by Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communication and Postal Services or other designated body for conformity assessment pertaining to radio equipment and telecommunication terminal equipment >>>    

 

2.2. Trade in  services

 

In accordance with the Law on Foreign Trade Operations, foreign trade in services is govered by this Law, internationall agreements and the obligations undertaken by the Republic of Serbia.

 

Provision of services of a domestic person in other country or customs territory is free, while foreign persons provide services on the territory of the Republic of Serbia in accordance with regulations governing provision of particular types of services.

 

The date of  provision of a service in foreign trade shall be specified in the contract. However, if this date is not specified, or specifiable on the basis of the contract, it shall be specified in accordance with the provisions of the Order on Specifying the Date of Provision of Services in Foreign Trade (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia” No.109/09).

 

2.3. Other regimes

 

In addition to export, import and transit of goods and services, the foreign trade operations in goods and services include specific types of operations which are prescribe by the Law on Foreign Trade Operations  in the section Other Regimes or Measures.

 

Other regimes and measurees in the foreign trade in goods and services are the following:

  • Collection of payments or payments in goods or services, or compensatory operations, particularly governed by the provisions of the Regulation on Detailed Conditions  for Payment or Collection of of Payments in Goods or Services (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 109/05);
  • Exports or imports of goods or services free of payment, or collection of payment, are more precisely governed by the  Regulation on export or import of goods Free of Payment or Collection of payment (“Officiaal Gazette of the Republic of Serbia” No. 7/10);
  • Exemptions related to the goods purchased in other country or customs territory which domestic person does not have to import or release for free circulation in the cases provided for in the Law on Foreign Trade Operations.

3. Protection measures

 

The Law on Foreign Trade Operations prescribes the possibility for Governement to introduce different measures affecting foreign trade operations  in order to protect the domestic economy. 

 

An anti-dumping measure means  special duty on the importation of goods imposed in order to remedy the negative effects of dumping. Anti-dumping measures are applied in accordance with  the Regulation on Detailed conditions for the application of anti-dumping measures (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No.112/09).

 

Countervailing measure means special duty on the importation of goods imposed in order to remedy negative effects of subsidization carried out in the country or customs territory of origin or exports of goods. Countervailing measures are applied in accordance with the Regulation on Detailed Conditions for the application of Countervailing Measures (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No.112/09).

 

A safeguard measure for the protection from excessive imports may be applied to a product only if it has been determined that such product is being imported in such increased quantities, in absolute or relative values in relation to domestic production and under the conditions to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to domestic industry that produces like or directly competitive products. These measures are applied in accordance with the Regulation on Detailed Conditions for the Protection from Excessive Imports (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 112/09).

 

Measures to safeguard  the balance of payments position may be introduced if it is necessery to stop or prevent the imminent threat of a serious decline in the foreign currency reserves, or to increase very low foreign currency reserves.

 

4. Performance of economic activities

 

The Law on Foreign Trade Operations prescribes that the performance of economic activities  includes direct investment and investment works of foreign person in the Republic of Serbia and of domestic person in any other country or customs territory.

 

The amendements to the Law on Foreign Trade Operations introduced a deregulation in performance of economic activities abroad. However, monitoring of conditions and effects of performing of this type of foreign trade operations is governed by the provisions of some other regulations, such as the Law on Foreign Exchange Operations (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia” No. 62706 and 31/11) and by-law regulations adopted for its implementation.   

 

At the same time,  in the Law on Foreign Trade Operations  still contains monitoring of certain foreign trade transactions. It means that the Government, for enhancing foreign trade operations and more efficiently applaying of this Law and other regulations affecting them, may prescribe an obligation of record keeping or reporting on certain foreign trade operations, as well as the content of such records and reports. However, the prescription of these obligations may not have the purpose or effect of additional restriction of the freedom of foreign trade.

 

4.1 Direct investment

 

For the purpose of this Law the direct investment means establishing a company, branch office, representative office, purchasing portions or shares in the company capital, recapitalization of a company and any other form of investment of a foreign person in the Republic of Serbia, or of a domestic person in other country or customs territory.

 

4.2. Investment works

 

For the purpose of this Law, investment works mean designing, construction and craftsmen works, engineering works and any other works and services on objects performed or provided by a foreign person in the Republic of Serbia, or by a domestic person in other country or customs territory.

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