Serbia Introduces Countermeasures Against Croatian Food

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The move follows Croatia’s restrictions on food imports.

Starting on Saturday, Serbia has introduced rigorous controls for all Croatian products, including food and vegetables, which is why they will not be available in the Serbian market during the next 30 days, reports on 6 August 2017.

Serbian Customs Administration has been given the task to perform, in addition to phytosanitary and veterinary checks, laboratory analysis of all products. This procedure takes a month, so it is certain that many products will not end up in stores, but in warehouses, according to the Serbian media.

This is the answer of the Serbian authorities to the decision made by the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture which on 15 July increased the import fee on fruit and vegetables coming from non-EU countries. The countermeasures will last until the European Commission comments on the Croatia decision and until Croatian measures are suspended. Serbia claims that Croatia has acted against the provisions of Serbia’s Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU.

Serbian sources argue that this is a very subtle counterattack against Croatia, which is not contrary to the SAA but will inflict enormous damage to Croatia. “It is important to know that the Customs Administration was given an order ten days ago to handle in this way the fruits and vegetables of Croatian origin. The government did not announce the measure until now. A lot of Croatian fruit and vegetables has already been spoiled because it could not withstand the long inspection and laboratory procedures. Yesterday, an order was given to submit all Croatian products to undergo rigorous veterinary, phytosanitary and laboratory analyses. Such procedures last for 30 days, which means that fruits and vegetables will be spoiled. As for meat, meat products, milk and ice cream, which should have ended up on the shelves of Serbian supermarkets, the shops will not receive them,” said a source from the Serbian Customs Administration.

He added that the entire plan was developed by the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture. “This kind of reaction will hurt Croats tremendously. Their businessmen are calling us and looking for ways to save their products,” said the source, who did not comment on the possibility that Croatia could introduce similar countermeasures for products from Serbia.

Serbian Agriculture Minister Branislav Nedimović indirectly confirmed the reports. “Until they change the decision on increased fees for Serbian fruit and vegetables, there will be no discussions. We have taken our measures to protect our country,” said Nedimović.

The Croatian Ministry of Agriculture issued a new rule in July, introducing stricter controls for a large number of fruits and vegetables imported from non-EU countries, while the fees for inspections have increased from 90 to 2,000 kunas.

So far, there has been no reaction from Croatia on the latest Serbian countermeasures.

Translated from


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