22nd February 2022, Skopje – Customs tariff rates on 258 raw materials and intermediate goods are permanently reduced or abolished, thus entailing lower import duties for domestic companies. This is stipulated under the modifications and amendments to the Law on Customs Tariff, as adopted by the Parliament, wherefor Ministry of Finance undertook activities in consultation with the business community last year.

By abolishing the tariffs, according to Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, the production costs are being reduced, thus providing for boosted competitiveness of Macedonian economy.

According to Besimi, this Law contributes to boosting the competitiveness of domestic companies, making the country more attractive to new companies with foreign capital from various economic sectors, expanding the production of the existing capacities of domestic and foreign companies, as well as increasing the employment.

In the opinion of the Minister, by abolishing the customs tariff rate on natural gas, the domestic companies and the industry are additionally provided substantial support, by reducing the production costs. At the same time, amid energy crisis, as per the Law, support is provided in terms of greater price stability of this energy source, thus encouraging change towards using less polluting energy sources.

Reduction of customs tariff rates on raw materials and intermediate goods used in technologically advanced production, will also provide for direct support to automotive industry, metal processing industry, metallurgy, textile industry and leather industry, which recorded significant drop in the industrial production in 2020 and 2021.

In times of pandemic and exacerbated operations of the companies in the field of manufacturing, the reduced customs tariff rates on certain raw materials and intermediate goods will provide for facilitating the working conditions of these companies, we well as boosting their competitiveness on the market.

The Law covers raw materials and products not being produced in the country, and which are imported in the Republic of North Macedonia, with their customs tariff rates being significantly higher than the customs tariff rates applied on the same products in the EU. By reducing the import duties, their amount will get closer to the customs tariff rates applied in the EU, meaning boosted competitiveness of domestic companies and making the country more attractive to new companies with foreign capital from various economic sectors.

Adoption of this Law provides for implementing the Government Program, as well as the Measure 17 under the fifth set of economic measures, aimed at reviving the economy in times of COVID-19 crisis, pertaining to reduction of the customs tariff rates at the EU level for the most priority goods such as raw materials and intermediate goods used in the field of manufacturing.

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