– FOREIGN CITIZENS AND CUSTOMS OFFENSES –
The importance of being informed on customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia is illustrated by the fact that customs offenses are characterized by extremely high penalties. Thus, for the offense referred to in Article 292. The Customs Law (this category includes failure to declare goods entering the customs territory of the RS), a fine ranges from one to four times the value of goods.
Free entry of goods to the Republic of Serbia
The Customs Act stipulates that certain types of goods are not subject to customs duties and passengers can enter them free of charge in the country. This includes personal luggage (items you need for a specific trip); medicines for personal use; 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 gr. tobacco; one perfume; one toilet water; one litter of wine; one litter of alcoholic beverages.
Is your personal laptop considered part of your personal luggage?
The customs authority shall, in each specific case, determine which items constitute the personal baggage of passengers and, accordingly, determine whether they are subject to customs clearance or not. You are allowed to carry your laptop with you, but customs officials are obliged to determine whether it is really a matter of an item that is an integral part of your personal luggage or is a new device subject to import duties.
Abbreviated customs procedure
The provisions of Article 107 of the Customs Law stipulate that goods that a passenger has imported from abroad, which is not of commercial character and is intended for use for his own needs or needs of the household, and which value does not exceed 3,000 EUR in dinar counter value, can be customs cleared in an abbreviated procedure, at the border crossing, with the application of a single customs rate in the amount of 10% (plus VAT).
For goods cleared in the so-called “abbreviated procedure” shall be completed by the authorized customs officer submits the Calculation of Importation Duties (CPD), with the exact name of the goods subject to customs clearance.
The passenger declares whether he agrees with the finding of an authorized customs officer in respect of the quantity, type of goods and the established customs value of the goods, as well as with regard to the amount of import duties. If the passenger agrees with the finding of an authorized customs officer, upon the payment of import duties, the authorized customs officer shall hand over to the traveller a certified copy of Calculation of Importation Duties and place the goods at his disposal.
If the passenger does not agree with the finding of an authorized customs officer or does not pay the total amount of import duties, he is obliged to submit to the customs authority a declaration for the transit of goods to the competent customs office where the regular customs procedure will be conducted.
Note by the lawyer: The implementation of the abbreviated procedure is a simplified form, with the aim of faster ending of the procedure for goods that can be customs cleared in such a procedure, with the application of a single customs rate. Such a procedure is not mandatory, as the traveller can always require that the customs clearance of the goods he carries with him and which value does not exceed the value of EUR 3,000, is carried out in a regular customs procedure, by submitting a written customs declaration, at the rate prescribed by the Customs Tariff.
Characteristics of a customs offense procedure conducted against a foreigner
The urgency of the misdemeanour proceedings in procedure conducted against a foreigner is especially emphasized in the provision of Article 303 of the Customs Act, which provides that, if the perpetrator of a misdemeanour is a person whose residence is outside the customs territory of the Republic of Serbia, and all conditions for issuing a misdemeanour warrant have been fulfilled, misdemeanour warrant must be issued within 48 hours.
Note: All details of the misdemeanour proceeding conducted against a foreign citizen, in detail explained in PART ONE, also apply to customs misdemeanours involving foreign citizens.
Košutić Šeperac Radenković