The Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina has opened a new customs laboratory facility in Banja Luka.
European Union provided a total of EUR 400,000 worth of equipment. The assistance was provided through the EU-funded project ‘Support to the Indirect Taxation Authority’, which aims to support and enhance the work of taxation authority system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is funded through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
“Customs legislation and practices are not yet fully aligned with the EU acquis and that is one of the reasons why this laboratory is important, because it will help Bosnia and Herzegovina and all the people living in this country to adjust to EU standards in the area of customs”, said Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark.
“The second and most important reason for this laboratory is to ascertain the quality of the products being imported into this country in terms of their authenticity. It is also a question of safety and security for citizens of all ages, including children, because now it will be possible to test the quality of the products - for instance children’s toys - to be certain they are safe to be used. The third reason is to facilitate the whole administrative process, to make it easier and quicker to approve different products because even today this process is still too long”, concluded Wigemark.
Five technicians have been adequately trained and employed. The laboratory is supposed to test the quality of food and beverages, oil, oil derivatives, and toys, and it should also be capable of detecting narcotics, toxins and other harmful substances.
According to media reports, the plan is for the laboratory to become accredited for sampling.