Belgrade is thinking of launching an arbitrage over the tariffs Pristina imposed on goods from central Serbia last November thus violating CETFA agreement, Vecernje Novosti reported.
According to the daily, this option is on the table since 25 February after the 90 days have passed when the Government of Serbia submitted an official request to the CEFTA Secretariat to have a direct consultation within the Joint Committee on the matter.
At the moment of submitting the request, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced launching a proceeding before the Court of Arbitrage if the issue is not resolved within the three-month period.
Vecernje Novosti further reported that the Serbian leadership is carefully assessing its further steps in this regard, and in addition to domestic legal experts, foreign experts have been consulted as well, so Belgrade can well prepare its strategy if decided to go ahead with it.
Zvonko Gobeljic from the Economic Institute said CEFTA has shown it lacks mechanisms to punish any of its members for the violation of the agreement, although it never happened so far that any of the members introduced the measures targeting the entire customs tariffs.
“Comparing to all other solutions, it would be the best if Pristina gives up on senseless tariffs on the goods from central Serbia, and in this regard, I am certain one should be persistent in diplomatic activities and to exercise additional pressure on Albanians through the European Commission and the World Trade Organization to stop destroying all what the region has gained though the functioning of the CEFTA regime. Arbitrage is certainly a solution,” Gobeljic said, adding the decision by the Court of Arbitrage is final and binding for the parties in a dispute.