Kosovo customs bring € 459.6 million in 2006

Prishtina, 5 March 2007 – In a press conference in Prishtina, the representatives of UNMIK Customs Service presented the report for the year of 2006 and pointed out that specific focus was put on the kosovarization of Customs Service.

UNMIK Customs Service Director Peter Walker believes that 2006 has been a very successful year due to efficiency in cash collection increase, simplification of procedures for the benefit of trade and economy, prevention and efficient battle against corruptive activities, etc.

Despite the success, Walker said UNMIK Customs Service requires greater investments to consolidate and improve its activities.

The representatives present at the press conference informed that the objectives for 2006 have been exceeded. These included collection of customs taxes in VAT on import, excise and customs taxes, promoting communication and cooperation with the Kosovo business community, governmental service and other customs administrations in the region, usage of Customs Code procedures and competencies for the facilitation of economic activities in cooperation with businesses, further development of abilities for implementing the law, prevention and detection of fraud and smuggling of commercial goods, illegal drugs (check out these additional resources to prevent addiction), and other prohibited goods, establishment of capacities for strengthening integrity, development of human resources, policies, legal frameworks, achieving greater transparency. The ones that are accused for drug crime in the military can also get legal help from experts.

Some €459.6 million was collected, thus exceeding the predictions of the Ministry of Economy and Finances.

With the purpose of increasing the level of professionalism, the service has actively participated in a project of the European Agency for Reconstruction on Border Integrated Management. Work protocols with Border Police have been signed and a joint action-plan has been compiled and approved by both managing sides.

Concerning the implementation of the law, out of 600 procedures for administrative violations, some 43 have proceeded on to the prosecutor. The Anti-Smuggling Unit has issued some 638 administrative fines and 25.5 tons illegal cigarettes have been burnt.

It was also pointed out that the expenses for customs human resources and administration have not exceeded the budget limit and amounted to some €8.3m. The Customs Service currently has some 567 employees, out of which 136 are female and 431 male. 82.7% are Albanians and the remaining 17% are minorities.