Kosovo, cement import disagreements
The Minister of Commerce and Industry in Kosovo, Mimoza Kusari Lila,
defended her decision for establishing a 35% tax on the cement that is
imported to Kosovo from Albania and other countries, with the argument
that the import of this product has increased in the market from 3% to
This has damaged the only cement producing factory in Kosovo, the Sharr Cem.
In an interview for Top Channel, the Minister of Commerce considers this decision as an applicable measure for keeping the market under control and for offering equal opportunities for all those who want to be present in the market.
“This measure is not only against Albania, and this is only for 90 days. If it will be verified that there is no practice that spoils the market in Kosovo, the measure will be longer, and it could remain”, Kusari-Lila declared.
According to the Minister, the problem is not only the Albanian cement factory in Dushe Kruje, but Albania also imports the cement that is produced in Italy. A working group is investigating why there are large quantities of import in Kosovo.
The first results show that Italy and Albania have had a hyper-production of cement, and eventually, Kosovo was seen as a lucrative market, due to the increasing construction industry.
While denying that this measure will increase the construction cost, the Minister adds tha the Kosovo importing companies have manipulated the facts by declaring the cement with a lower price in the customs, and have then sold it with the market’s price.
“The purpose of this measure is not to block the market, but to clarify and place it under control. We are monitoring the price of the Kosovo product, so that there will be no abusive increases of the profits”.
This decision was criticized by the Kosovo Parliament MPs, saying that it serves to the close interests of government clans.
The data from the Kosovo Customs indicate that the import from Albania has been increased in the last three years. If 16.702 tons of cement were produced in 2009, the quantity in 2011 reached 226.847 tons.
After the Ministry of Commerce decision, the cement from Albania has stopped entering with large quantities, while it has continued entering from Greece, Italy and Serbia.