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Chamber of Industry: Harmonization of the Customs Tariff with the EU

Accelerated technological progress with the construction of industrial zones and adequate investments to modernize existing zones, energy efficient technologies and investments in renewable energy sources, as well as harmonization of the customs tariff in the country with the EU, as a large part of the customs rates are several times higher than the EU from the time of the former Yugoslav customs tariff are the three factors that should contribute to the development of industrial companies in the country in conditions of sound economic policies, it was pointed out. ATO at a press conference at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

Trajan Angeloski, member of the Board of Directors of the Industrial Chamber pointed out that the situation with the existing industrial zones is very low, for example the Fojlija zone, which is beside Skopje Airport and should be representative without road infrastructure, the industrial zone in Hipodrom it is planned to be implemented, but never started, and in other areas the problems are similar.

"Modernizing production, increasing capacity and raising standards are important investment processes that companies need to undertake to accelerate technological progress, but this is not possible to do in the meadow, the state, local governments, the City of Skopje need to fulfill their obligations in order for the industrial companies to function smoothly, develop and record positive results to contribute to Macedonia's development. In addition, many companies are looking for locations to build new facilities, but locations are either nonexistent or their price is enormously high, one of the highest in the region, "Angeleski said, adding that calls for the establishment of a national fund in order to build new ones. zones to offer adequate locations with resolved infrastructure, gas, water and other conditions so that companies do not waste energy on activities that are not their primary business, but have a free and complete medium investment space.

The Chamber of Commerce emphasizes that modern industries around the world are striving daily to achieve maximum energy efficiency and invest as much as possible in renewable energy sources in order to reduce production costs and thus to maximize competitiveness of their products.

"In our country, modern companies from the industrial sector are trying to follow these trends, but our country has no hearing about modern environmental trends in the world, on the contrary such investments are not supported. Almost the same permits are required from the Regulatory Commission for REK Bitola as well as for any solar power plant installed on the roofs of industrial buildings. Projects of this type need to be financially and legally supported with simplified procedures in order for companies to be motivated to make this type of investment and with their EKO investments to contribute to a cleaner environment. According to the percentage Macedonia uses in renewable energy sources, it is the last in the region with 18%, Serbia with 20.5%, Kosovo with 25% and Albania with 35%. The current situation is that not only is there no direct support for energy efficient technologies but companies investing in renewable energy sources have been eliminated from financial support under the Investment Financial Support Act, as companies are forced to hold licenses for each solar power plant, and any company that holds any license is eliminated for any use of financial support under the Act. In this regard, the Law on Financial Support of Investments should be amended in order to include investments in renewable energy sources, "said Angeleski and added that the new tariff of the Ministry of Finance and Customs Administration for exemption from the tax code was welcomed on this occasion. paying electric vehicle charges which in the long run will help the industry to divert its transport vehicles and vehicles from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles for a cleaner environment as well as increase energy efficiency.

Regarding the harmonization of the customs tariff in the country with the EU, Angeleski added that we have some slightly higher customs rates than the EU, which for many products pay unnecessarily higher tariff. Our country has the largest trade exchange with EU countries, and in addition two of our five neighbors are EU members, this situation raises the question that our customs tariff should be in line with that of the European Union.

"At this point many customs rates have been forgotten since the time of the former Yugoslavia and they are extremely high, for example at certain rates in the EU they are 3% and in the country they are 15%. This situation disrupts the free trade flows and many of the raw materials are significantly more expensive, thus many potential investments due to such a customs policy have no economic viability and sense to realize in Macedonia. Given that this situation has been going on since our independence, we propose to start immediately adjusting tariffs to be compatible with European markets and ready for our future association ", explained Angeleski and added that this request has been emphasized on several occasions and by other institutions, domestic and foreign companies.

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