SARAJEVO, April 15 (FENA) – At today’s session in the second round of voting, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejected the Proposal of Decision on special protective measures on imports of certain products originating from EU member states for a period of 24 months.
As the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, Staša Košarac, confirmed to the media, who is a proponent of this decision, only the representatives of the entity of RS in the Council of Ministers voted for it.
“We need this and I do not understand the views of others who do not want to support it, but appreciating the necessity of that decision, we will propose it again at the next session,” said Košarac, expressing the opinion that it is necessary to meet the demands of the producers.
Members of the BiH Council of Ministers who oppose such a decision as a reason why it should not be supported have previously stated that the decision is contrary to the Stabilization and Association Agreement as well as Article XIX of GATT and the Decision on measures to protect domestic production from excessive imports.
Also, they say that the decision does not show that the procedure of consultations with the EU has been carried out, which is an obligation in accordance with those documents.
They are of the opinion that consultations cannot be conducted without the establishment of an information system in agriculture, which is a legal obligation of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH and which would provide valid data acceptable to the EU in the consultation process.
They note that, if such a decision was to be made, BiH would violate the SAA, would undermine its credibility and at the same time, this could result in countermeasures from the EU, and it is a fact that more than 70 percent of BiH exports are to the European Union.
They are of the opinion that this decision could cause damage to meat processing plants, and with the increase of customs duties, there could be an increase in prices.
Finally, they point out that this decision would not protect producers, as it is very likely that imports would be diverted to non-EU countries, as the customs tariffs would not apply to them.