Almost every second tile, building block or a brick used to build houses, business facilities and residential buildings in Serbia come from the black market. This is what building materials manufacturers say unofficially. However, there is no precise report that how much of the low quality building materials are actually out there.
Serbian consumers often think that the building materials imported from abroad imply better quality, but it often happens that rejects are sold under the pretense of being the best Italian and Spanish ceramic tiles. Experts say that consumers should ask building material vendors to produce a quality certificate from our accredited laboratories or quality control institutions.
Secretary General of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce’s Construction, Building Material Industry and Residential Construction Association, Jovo Krstovic says that there is a thriving black market in the building material segment too.
“People are selling products of very dubious quality and imported materials are rarely tested for quality”, says Krstovic. “Serbian customs authorities are not required to physically check the product, but just to see whether the accompanying custom clearance papers are in order. Accredited laboratories do carry out relevant testing, but still products of much lower quality than the tested one are still sold. Hence, it is vital to have more inspectors in the field”, he adds.
CEO of Keramika Kanjiža, the Serbian ceramic tiles producer, Ivana Veselinovic says that every tile that leaves the factory, before it hits the shops, has to be tested and have an appropriate certificate. This is something that is not applicable to imported products – she points out.
“It happens that people buy write-offs from European building material producers, then advertise them as Italian or Spanish, and sell them at low price before at least one of the six inspectors, which is how many of them are available for this segment, actually test the quality. It is enough for at least 1% or 2% of uncertified, low quality products to appear on the market to actually cause a disturbance on that very market”, she adds.
(Vecernje Novosti, 04.02.2017)
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