Visbility menu
  • Test
  • Test
, 07/11/2014

Serbia wants to join the EU, but does nots respect its own laws



Business Support Network held a roundtable discussion concerning the issue of recognition of foreign conformity markings and granting of Certificates of Conformity for the materials, equipment and products imported from EU Member States.

The event was attended by the representatives of numerous companies, Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, Delegation of the German Commerce and Industry in Serbia, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Economy and German organization for international cooperation GIZ.

Company representatives warned on the high costs concerning the granting of Certificate of Conformity. An overview of average expense for the procedure of accepting the EN Certificate in Serbia are shown in the table below, although costs for certain products can reach up to 7,000 EUR.

Activity Expense in EUR
Translation of foreign certificate and accompanying documents 600+
Obtaining original certification documents from EU countries, documentation concerning certification body, regulations and standards, copying, etc.* 200 – 700
Commission fee Over 2,500
Filing a demand for nostrification of new certificate 18
Issuing of Decision, after the nostrification is complete 170
Total, per product 2,788 – 3,288

*Depending on the requests of the Serbian certification bodies

Together with high costs, additional problem is that the Regulation on the procedure of recognition of foreign documents and conformity marks is not applied in practice, that is, its implementation is blocked. Companies are waiting for 18 months for the decisions concerning their requests, and the Commission formed by the Ministry of construction, transport and infrastructure is not issuing the decisions on recognition of foreign certificates since July 2013.

Also, another problem identified by the attendees is a non-existence of law or other type of regulation, or implementation of the Regulation 305/2011 of the European Parliament and Council that would force the usage of EN norms and certificates for production systems, as well as the usage of CE mark.

All these factors contribute to the creation of new barriers instead of removal of the existing ones, and limits the free movement of goods, people and funds, which is contrary to the basic principles the EU is founded on.

Finally, producers in Serbia are forced to pay for certification procedures to the domestic certification bodies, but these certificates are not valid in the EU Member States. This means that the exporters have to pay additional costs and certification for the EU market. The export of certain products to the EU would be significantly improved if they would possess EN certificates and CE marks.

The consequences are felt by the entire economy, but also by the society. The attendees have stated that:

  • Hundreds of construction objects that require consent of the fire protection services for the build-in systems certified abroad cannot receive inspection acceptance certificate. Thus, significant part of construction industry and the whole chain of suppliers working for is is made unable to work.
  • Institute for testing of materials (IMS) is given as an alternative for testing, but it is not adequately equipped, so that certain tests have to be performed abroad, which significantly increases the costs.
  • Blocking of the application of fire prevention systems and constructing objects without fire protection increases the risks for public safety in case of fire hazard.
  • Regulations currently in force are contradictory and outdated, and modern EN standards are not applied due to them not being obligatory, even though Serbia accepted them by adding the SRBS prefix in front of EN.
  • Without certified products, the market is filled with untested products of low quality that pose a potential safety hazard.
  • By accepting the EN norms for products and systems the increased costs would disappear, and would lead to additional investments and job creation.
  • Also, there would be more jobs in Serbia for contractors and suppliers working for foreign investors.
  • Double certification for products in Serbia and in EU increases the cost of domestic products on the EU market, making their placement more difficult.

Finally, the attendees gave their suggestions to the Government of Serbia on how to overcome the current issues:

  • To introduce a Law on construction products and/or technical regulations that would regulate the area of construction materials.
  • Establish a 6 months transition period for products authorized for the Serbian market by the national regulation, to be used for harmonization of laboratories and certification bodies with the EU standards.
  • For the products that are NOT authorized for the Serbian market by the national regulations (no domestic producers, no threats to the Serbian economy) – publish a list of harmonized EN standards.
  • After the harmonization is complete abolish all other regulation contrary to the results of points 1 and 2 and enable normal functioning for the businesses
  • Acknowledge CE mark in Serbia and control product quality in accordance with it, which can be achieved by implementing new laws or other sort of regulation for specific sectors of industry.
  • Simplify procedures and introduce a single 15 days deadline for acceptance of foreign certificates in which a certification body can file an objection.
  • Reduce needless costs of the procedures for products certified by accredited institutions in the EU which are already registered in the NANDO information system. Serbian institutions can check the product certificates by accessing the database, without imposing bureaucratic obligations on the businesses.
  • Urgently resolve all requests concerning fire protection systems in the Ministry of construction, transport and infrastructure that are paralyzing the producers, and prevents the investors from obtaining consent from Ministry of Interior concerning fire prevention, and consequently, usage permit. This situation is ongoing for more than a year and a half.
  • Introduce tests and accept foreign certificates of fire protection systems by the expert institutions accredited by the Ministry, and not by the commission made of individuals from various backgrounds, that doesn’t have conditions to operate. Also, do not put additional charges for the work of the employees of the Ministry, as Serbia took an obligation to apply EN standards through agreements with the EU.

Listed solutions should enable normal business operations in Serbia, remove superfluous bureaucracy, long waiting periods and high costs that paralyzed activities of many companies, causing financial losses and reducing the number of workplaces.

Reform of the product certification and conformity marking is one of the necessary activities for the recovery of the economy and reduction of the unemployment in Serbia.




_M239176 _M239223 _M239191
 _M239189  _M239183  _M239223
 _M239212  _M239211  _M239206
Milan Vučković, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Goran Stojiljković, Knauf Miroslav Laješić, Osram
_M239202 _M239197 _M239204
Dejan Mikić, Xella Dragoljub Rajić, Business Support Network Nebojša Vasić, Siniat


Event in the media




Magazin Biznis i Finansije

Dnevni list Danas

Dnevni list Danas – Reaction



Energy observer