Serbia mining: All fees for natural resources exploitation in one legislation

17. January 2018. / Mining

What is public good, who is its user and how much are the fees for using natural resources? This is defined in the Draft Law that entered the public debate in the first week of the new year. It has included some existing ones, but it also introduces new fees, in order for the state to protect its goods at the same time and make it easier for the economy.

For the use of all types of coal and oil shale, the compensation is, as until now, three percent, and oil and gas – seven percent. Refunds include oil and derivatives reserves and all geological explorations. Smelters for all types of metals pay five percent of net income, and there are also reinbursments for those who finish production before the smelter.

Assistant Minister of Mining and Energy Ivan Janković says that the possibility opens for such producers to pay the fee for unprocessed ore. “Some may not even be able to process this mineral raw material at all, but will be placed as raw ore,” Janković adds.

A new fee for improving energy efficiency has also been proposed. There are also fees for the use of medicinal herbs and mud as well as for thermal waters, for which it should be allocated 50 dinars per cubic meter. It is also planned to pay 1.21 dinar for each liter of mineral and natural water bottled.

Dimitrije Ivanović from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce considers that the fee for water is fair. “The only thing that we would like to change with the new law is to pay a liter of bottled water sold, because in the technological process there are many losses of that water,” Ivanović points out.

There is a fee for changing the purpose of agricultural land and forests. While for the use of public space for business and other purposes, a fee of around 180 dinars per day is proposed. The sale of printing, books, homework and old and artistic crafts are excluded from this.

Hints for the use of public goods and natural resources have so far been scattered in at least 13 laws and a large number of by-laws. Now they will be unified in one law under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, with the aim of facilitating business and future investors.

Businessmen will no longer wander searching for information to be paid for, in what amount and time.

The fact that everything will now be regulated by law, for Jelena Bojović from Nale is “some guarantor” that the amount of these fees will not change as it comes to mind.

“Here, the goal was, first and foremost, to relieve the economy and increase transparency, and we have some additional suggestions that this law needs for further improvement.” This is one step that the economy has been looking for for many years”, Bojović adds.

The draft law on utilization fees is in line with the requirements of the IMF and the European Union.

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