grafico andamento serbia

A key country for the stability of the Western Balkans, Serbia has achieved important economic successes in recent years. It has the potential to accelerate convergence with the EU and become the regional economic locomotive.

In ten years, Serbia has raised the standard of living of its inhabitants thanks to various interventions:

  • Public finances have been restored;
  • Industrial production has been boosted;
  • Unemployment has been reduced;
  • Public debt dropped from 70 per cent to 52 per cent of GDP between 2015 and 2019, a budget surplus was recorded in 2017 and 2018, and the country broke even in 2019.

And while these indicators have reversed since 2020 and inflation has increased – due to the impact of the energy crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the macroeconomic fundamentals of the Balkan republic remain solid.

These results allowed Serbia to face the pandemic with appreciable fiscal reserves, which were used in a timely manner. In 2020 – by virtue of an economic stimulus of 8 per cent of GDP – the country suffered a recession of -0.9 per cent of GDP, compared to an average of -5.7 per cent in the 27 EU countries. On the economic growth front, the country also stood out: since 2014, it has grown faster than the European average.

Growth and technological innovation

The state budget, foreign private investment (which quadrupled between 2010 and 2022) and loans from international financial institutions have driven growth in Serbia in recent years. Serbia has also made progress in enhancing human capital, but still lags behind European indicators on health and education.

Serbia has also decided to bet on technological innovation and the knowledge economy. This is demonstrated by investments in research centres such as the Bio4 Campus in Belgrade. This is confirmed by the data on exports in the ICT sector, which reached EUR 2.692 billion in 2022, an increase of 45 per cent compared to 2021.

Below are some macroeconomic indicators of Serbia indicated by the Statistical Office of the Republic (Rzs):

  • + 0.4% growth in Serbia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period last year.
  • + 8.5% the average increase in industrial production in 2022 compared to the previous year.

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grafico andamento serbia

Record Trade between Italy and Serbia

1,624.08 mln. € is the value of Italian exports to Serbia recorded by the Government Economic Observatory in the first nine months of 2022, up from the previous year.

In the first four months of 2023, Italy ranked second for Serbian exports, and third for imports.

FDI (foreign direct investment), not even during the pandemic, has suffered a setback, so much so that Serbia is the recipient of more than half of the investments made in the Western Balkans region: 60% of investments are concentrated there, and import-export is flourishing.

According to government figures, 18 production plants were opened in 2021, with total investments amounting to EUR 760 million, creating 11,680 new jobs.

Messaggerie del Garda Serbia Italia import export

Regulation of Trade between Italy and Serbia

  • Customs classification of goods is in line with that of the EU.
  • Customs clearance and documents: accompanying documentation of goods subject to import procedures (invoices, certificates of origin, quality certificates) must be, for customs clearance purposes, supplemented by certificates of analysis issued by local bodies. Imports are subject to duties and VAT. The highest rate is applied on consumer goods and agri-food products. The lowest rates (0% – 5%) apply to raw materials and semi-finished products for local production. In addition to duties and VAT, excise duties apply to some products such as tobacco, roasted coffee, petroleum products, alcohol (except wine), jewellery and furs.
  • Import restrictions: medicines and war material require prior authorisation from the relevant ministries.
  • Temporary imports are widely used: temporary imports into Serbia are allowed for raw materials and semi-finished products, as well as for products destined for free zone warehouses Export without customs duties to South-East European countries (including Italy), Turkey, USA, Kazakhstan and Russia. To gain access to the temporary admission regime, a customs procedure must be followed. Authorisation is granted against presentation of the goods and the customs declaration of temporary importation at the customs of arrival of the packages. Temporary importation authorisation is only granted in those cases where it is possible to identify the goods. The customs authorities are therefore concerned with checking marks, serial numbers, serial numbers, photographs. In addition, a guarantee of payment of import duties must be provided. All documentation must be produced in accordance with international guidelines.

The advantages of temporary importation into Serbia are obvious: raw materials or semi-finished products can be imported for further processing in Serbian territory so that they can be re-exported later. If the processing is not substantial, the origin of the goods is not changed and the ‘made in’ is preserved. It is therefore possible to carry out certain processing in Serbia, free of VAT and duties, in order to reduce production costs.  Such operations are also permitted for products destined for bonded warehouses.

Messaggerie del Garda Serbia 

Messaggerie del Garda: import-export and temporary import management in Serbia

We assist Italian companies working in and with Serbia for export, import and temporary import operations. In fact, there are several Italian companies that, carrying out operations on account or producing directly in Serbia, use our services.

The management of temporary imports into Serbia represents a unique selling proposition for Messaggerie del Garda and we are able to assist our client companies throughout the entire process of the operation. In fact, we guarantee

  • the best customs assistance to obtain all necessary authorisations;
  • the skills and consolidated experience to correctly manage the continuous flow of goods at customs level over time: this is why we have won the trust of the most important fashion companies.

To do this in the best possible way, we have for over 15 years had a joint venture in Belgrade, 2BLogsitics, with highly qualified staff that can guarantee everything:

  • Assistance with import, export and more complex temporary import transactions;
  • Regular multi-weekly transports from Italy to Serbia and from Serbia to Italy, for any load;
  • Weekly round trips with special vehicles (fashion sector);
  • Warehouse, also customs, in Serbia;
  • Shipments from Serbia to the rest of the world;
  • Customs operations both in Belgrade and in Kragujevac, Svilajnac, Trusevac, Trstenik, Zrenjanin, Sombor and SremskaMitrovica;
  • Freight forwarding by full load, groupage or groupage.

The sectors for which we operate most:

  • Fashion;
  • Industrial;
  • Electrical and electronic equipment;
  • Dangerous goods.

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