Articles 24 to 32 of the Law on Customs Policy establish procedures for the determination of the customs value of goods. Pursuant to Article 25 of the Law on Customs Policy, the customs value of imported goods is the transaction value, i.e. the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for exports to the customs territory of BiH. BiH’s system of customs valuation in the Law on Customs Policy is fully compatible with WTO rules.
Application of Internal Taxes on Imports
Value Added Tax
As of January 1, 2006, BiH introduced a value added tax at a flat rate of 17 percent that is levied on all imported and domestic goods.
The excise tax is paid only on certain goods at the moment of their release for free circulation. The excise tax is applied identically to domestic and imported goods.
The goods for which an excise tax is levied are: oil derivatives, tobacco, beverages, alcoholic drinks, and coffee.
Rules of Origin
Rules of origin are set out in Articles 20 - 23 of the Law on Customs Policy. This Law distinguishes between non-preferential and preferential origins. BiH has not concluded an agreement on preferential origins with the U.S.
The Law stipulates those goods originating from a country are those wholly obtained or produced in that country. Goods whose production involved more than one country shall be deemed to originate in the country where they underwent their last substantial processing or finishing.
Preferential Origin of Goods
Article 23 of the Law on Customs Policy prescribes the rules to be applied for preferential trade, i.e. the conditions goods need to fulfill in order to benefit from the preferential measures referred to in Article 19, Paragraph 4 (c) and (d) of the Law.
Import tariffs were eliminated for 11,000 products that BiH imports from the EU in 2009. The Customs Tariff Nomenclature is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). BiH nomenclature of goods is fully harmonized with the combined EU nomenclature.
Customs duties on all commodities imported into BiH are paid ad valorem at rates of 0, 5, 10, and 15 percent. These rates apply to commodities originating from countries that have concluded an agreement with a Most Favored Nation clause with BiH, or from those countries that apply the same clause on the commodities originating from BiH. Upon BiH accession to the World Trade Organization, most-favored nation (MFN) status will be granted to all WTO members.
In addition to ad valorem custom duty rates, an additional duty is paid on imports of certain agricultural products in a per-unit amount. This additional duty is charged on 852 of the total number of tariff headings (10,823), and the amounts range from KM 0.08 KM/per unit to KM 6.00 /per unit. (Currency note: $1= KM 1.8265 on 6/8/2022)
Preferential tariff measures, pursuant to Article Three, Paragraph (c) of the Customs Tariff Law, may apply to goods from certain countries or groups of countries which have concluded an agreement on preferential treatment with BiH.
Trade with Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo is governed by the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), concluded in 2007. A separate bilateral free trade agreement is in force with Turkey.
Tariff Quotas & Tariff Exemptions
Articles Three and Seven of the BiH Customs Tariff Law permit the introduction of tariff quotas as a special measure for certain tariff headings. Consequently, the BiH Council of Ministers may approve imports of goods exempt from customs duties or at tariff rates lower than the duty set by the BiH Customs Tariff. The application of this measure is restricted to limits and ceases when the stipulated limit or value of the quota is reached.
Tariff Exemptions and Relief
Irrespective of tariff rates set by the Customs Tariff Law, some goods are exempt from customs duties under specific conditions. The following goods are exempt from customs duties:
Equipment representing the investment of a foreign person, except passenger vehicles and entertainment and gaming machines;
Goods for military and police forces in the entities that are fully donor financed; and
Goods for reconstruction projects in BIH.
Other Duties and Charges
Irrespective of the customs duty, which is paid on all commodities imported into the customs territory of BiH at the rates stipulated in the Customs tariff, the Law on Customs Policy, and the Law on Foreign Trade Policy, there are other regulations prescribing or allowing imposition of other taxes and charges.
Article 19 Paragraph 7 of the Law on Customs Policy allows for imposition of a seasonal duty. Accordingly, in addition to the tariff rates in force, the BiH Council of Ministers, after consulting the entities, may introduce a seasonal duty on non-processed agricultural products for a set period of time. The seasonal duty has never been applied.
Antidumping and Countervailing Duties
Goods imported into BiH at prices below their normal value or subsidized in some way may be subject to antidumping and countervailing duties, in accordance with BiH law.
Fees for Inspection of Goods
Article 7, Paragraph 3 of the Law on Foreign Trade Policy requires sanitary, veterinary, phyto-sanitary, and ecological inspections of certain imported goods. Fees for these inspections are set by the Law on Administrative Fees and are approximately equal to the value of the service performed, in line with Article VIII of GATT.