15th December 2021, Skopje – At yesterday’s session, the Government adopted the draft Law on Modifications and Amendments to the Customs Tariff Law, prepared by the Ministry of Finance, permanently reducing or abolishing customs tariff rates for 258 raw materials and intermediary goods for industrial production, mainly export oriented. Thus, requests of the companies to reduce the customs tariff rates are met, at the same time harmonizing them with the EU rates, which is of significant importance for boosting the production, the export and the competitiveness of the companies, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, said at the press conference at the occasion of presenting the draft Law, pointing out that it was adopted through an inclusive process of consultations with the Chambers.

“Most of the reduced customs tariff rate pertain to industrial products, such as raw materials and intermediary goods, used in technologically advanced production, as well as in automotive industry, metal processing industry, metallurgy, textile industry and leather industry, which faced difficulties in 2020 and the beginning of 2021. It is a matter of import products the customs tariff rates of which are significantly higher compared to the customs tariff rates applied on the same products in the EU”, the Minister said.

Moreover, in times of energy crisis and energy price pressure, this draft Law, as Besimi informed, proposes abolishment of the customs tariff rate on natural gas.

“By abolishing the customs tariff rate on natural gas, domestic companies and the industry are provided substantial support by reducing the production costs. At the same time, amid energy crisis, support is provided in terms of greater price stability of this energy source, thus encouraging change towards using less polluting energy sources”, he pointed out.

Total support provided under this draft Law to the business sector amounts to Denar 810 million, i.e. EUR 13 million annually or 12% of the total import duties.

By reducing the import duties to the rates levied in the EU, customs tariff rates will be harmonized with the ones applied in the EU.

“This draft Law contributes to boosting the competitiveness of the domestic companies, increased attractiveness of the country to the end of attracting fresh foreign direct investments from different business sectors, expansion of the production in the existing capacities of the domestic and the foreign companies, as well as employment growth”, the Minister underlined.

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