Levy on importing milk from EU to be abolished in 2017

On 1st January, 2017, the levy on import of milk and dairy products will no longer be valid. The levy was imposed to protect domestic dairy producers from the surge of European milk.

The officials from the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture will meet in Brussels with their EU counterparts to discuss this issue. However, the chances of the levy not being abolished are minimal because, by signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement, our country undertook to keep the levy until March 2017 the latest.

Considering that the price of milk in the EU has started to grow and that the pressures from the Western countries are increasing, our negotiators don’t have much choice when it comes to protecting domestic dairy production. Cattle breeders are most concerned about this decision because they fear that the buyout prices will go down.

The last time that the Serbian government extended the validity period of this levy was on 30th June and this period expires at the end of this year. The fee on importing milk ranges from 10 to 20 dinars per litre, and from 10 to 30 dinars for sour dairy products.

“The levy has no direct effect on us providing that dairy companies don’t force us to carry some of the losses there are going to suffer”, says Sanja Bugarski from the Association of Milk Producers of Vojodina. “The market is allegedly stable and there won’t be a spike in import because the price of milk in the EU has started to substantially grow. We do hope that the abolition of the levy will not negatively affect the production. If it we notice that the situation is going to negatively affect our dairy sector, the levy will be re-established”, Bugarski adds.

The Association of Milk Producers of Serbia says that the prices of milk in the EU have been recovering, particularly in the last two months. The Association’s President, Ljubisa Jovanovic points out that the milk buyout system in Serbia complies with the EU one and is based on the European average.

(eKapija, 17.11.2016)


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