The label on each product must be written in Serbian and contain the following information : name of the product, full address of the producer or importer, net quantity/weight/volume, ingredients, storage and transport recommendations, and important recommendations for the consumer. Technically complicated goods must have instructions for use, the manufacturer's specifications, a list of authorized maintenance centers, information about the guarantee and especially its duration.
A certain number of products are banned from import, particularly because they are dangerous for the environment. These are :
- second-hand cars which do not have a Euro type engine
- 3 minimum in terms of maximum tolerated levels of noise and exhaust gas
- tractors, building and mining equipment more than three years old (except those imported for humanitarian reasons)
- dangerous waste,
- toxic substances.
For further information:
- the Ministry of Health
- the Ministry of Agriculture
- the European Commission Market Access website
- the Customs Administration (Serbian version only)
Serbia has set up free zones in the regions of Smederrevo, Kovin, Nis, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sabac, Pahovo, Sombor, Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica, and Zrenjanin.
The members fully supported Serbia's rapid accession and noted with satisfaction the ambitious legislative action plan describing the various reforms undertaken by Serbia to change its trade regime. But a few thorny points still remain: import licenses, quantitative restrictions on imports of some petroleum derivatives, internal taxation, suspension of duties, OTCs and SPS measures.
However, quotas have been abolished and the number of import licences reduced. The amendment of the Customs Tariffs Act of July 2005 makes it compatible with the application of the Harmonized Customs system (HS). Customs duties go from 0% to 30%, according to the products and according to the partners. The most heavily taxed goods are arms and munitions.
In 2000, two series of measures were introduced to strengthen trade relations between the EU and Serbia : asymmetrical trade preferences and agreements on stabilization and association.
Small local shops represent 75% of distribution. There are 20.000 to 30.000 retail outlets for the food sector. Prices are ofter lower than in supermarkets. There are also many open air markets.
Mass marketing was dominated until December 2002 by three big national supermarket chains :
- C-Market leader of the food market,
Hypermarkets appeared in Serbia in December 2002 with the arrival of Mercator.
Note the presence of the French Intermarché through Interex supermarkets in Cacak, Nis, Zajecar and Sabac (since December 2006).
Electronic commerce is only just starting up.There is no general law on electronic commerce in Serbia but a Digital Signature Act was passed in December 2004 and its enforcement is in progress.
For distribution other than food, it should be noted that there are still few shopping centers. Large scale expansion can be expected in the coming years, concurrently with the development of hypermarkets. The ready-to-wear and accessory sectors are for the moment those most often found, but the sectors of leisure, beauty products and especially products for DIY and the home should expand.
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Last Updates: October 2014