Cooperation with the Republic of Srpska on the prevention of smuggling, money laundering and „phantom“ companies

The Serbian Finance Minister, Mr. Bozidar Djelic, declared yesterday in Banjaluka, that the Government of the Republika Srpska and the Government of Serbia, „will do all that is possible“ to strengthen „even more“ the special relations between Serbia and Republika Srpska.

On the occasion of a press conference, Mr. Djelic said that the talks he had with the Finance Minister of RS – Mr. Simeun Vilendecic, and the RS Fiscal Administration Director – Ms. Milica Bisic, covered the issue of the cooperation in the matters of prevention of smuggling, money laundering, and the appearance of „phantom“ companies on both the Drina river sides. „Our message to all those willing to break the law from both sides of the border is that we will now be much more organized in the fight against their activities“, emphasized the Minister.

Mr. Djelic also said that the two countries’ finance ministries wish to exchange the acquired experience, and added that Serbia will do the best to help the RS Tax Administration with the computer support and in other domains of activity. According to the Minister, IT teams from Serbia are already operative in RS.

Emphasizing Serbia’s full support to the Dayton Peace Agreement, and recognizing it as the framework for any further activity, Mr. Djelic expressed his concern because in the talks he held with his hosts related to the VAT reform and the BH Customs Administration reform in Bosnia „citizens’ interests are not taken into consideration“. „The Public finances and the taxes are something all citizens should accept and support. They will pay their customs and tax duties, only when they are sure about the destination of these funds – what institutions are financed form them, and how their interests are taken care of“, declared Mr. Djelic.

Mr. Djelic also said that a program had been initiated between the Bosnian and Serbian authorities – aimed at stabilizing the bilateral exchange rate policy.

The RS Finance Minister, Mr. Simeun Vilendecic, said that some of the banks from Serbia and RS had already reached some agreements on the Convertible Mark and Dinar exchange rate policy, even if this represents an issue that has to be resolved on the highest level between the two countries. He also added that he spoke with Mr. Djelic of the realization of the inter-state Agreement on tax-free commercial activity between Bosnia and Herzegovina and FRY, and also concerning the Agreement on inter-Customs Administrations cooperation. The RS Finance Minister added that there was also word about the modalities of the RS servicing the 20 Million Marks debt towards Serbian public health institutions.

Directors of both tax administrations Ms. Marija Drca-Ugren and Ms. Milica Bisic signed an Agreement on cooperation between these two services in the matter of prevention of tax evasion and money laundering.

Serbian Finance Minister, Mr. Bozidar Djelic and the Tax Administration Director, Ms. Marija Drca-Ugren also visited the premises of the RS Fiscal Administration and the RS Treasury.