PODGORICA – Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulić is in constant communication with her Croatian minister of agriculture Tomislav Tolušić, as well as her counterparts from the region, in order to find a solution and reach an agreement on the amount of fees for importing fruits and vegetables into Croatia.
As the ministry told Dnevne Novine, the conclusions of the talks will be presented to the public after they are defined.
At the beginning of this month, Croatia increased the fee for inspection supervision and control of the compliance of fruit and vegetables imported from third countries with market standards. The fee has been increased by as much as 22 times, i.e. from €12 to €270 euros. Regional ministers discussed the issue in Sarajevo on Monday and called on Croatia to urgently withdraw this decision and adjust the fee with the European rulebook.
The talks continued yesterday. Mirko Šarović, Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic relations, negotiated with Croatian Minister Tomislav Tolušić. After their phone conversation, Šarović announced that Croatia was ready to reduce import fees, but it remains unknown whether they will be in line with the EU rules.
“Negotiations with Croatia will continue in the coming days because Minister Tolušić agrees that the fees are too high,” Šarovic told RSE.
At a meeting in Sarajevo, the ministers of Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed that Croatia’s decision was discriminatory and that all countries should individually take counter-measures. Thus, Serbia strengthened control over imports of goods with a plant or animal origin from Croatia. The new measures involve taking samples of each load and a detailed check of each sample, instead of random sampling as it has been the case so far.
Montenegrin ministry did not mention counter-measures. Croatia’s measures will hit Montenegro the least, but they will affect producers of watermelons, grapes and peaches.
From the meeting in Sarajevo, the ministries also sent a letter to the European Commission, urging it to get involved in resolving the issue.