Serbia: NIS paid 36 % less in mining royalties in 2015

, News Serbia Energy

According to non-governmental organization Vojvodina Research and Analysis Center (VOICE), Serbian oil company NIS, which is owned by Russian Gazprom, paid last year 36 % on behalf of the mining royalties.

In 2015, NIS paid about 113.7 million euros to the state budget for the exploitation of mineral resources in Serbia NIS, while the same item amounted to 178.7 million euros a year earlier. In Serbia, the old legislation is still applied to for NIS, which is why the company pays only 3 % on behalf of the mining royalties. For all other companies which operate in Serbia, the new royalties of 7 % are applied, which puts NIS in a privileged position.

According to VOICE, Serbian authorities did not raise an issue of the application of new legislation for NIS, even after Russia cancelled the South Stream gas pipeline project, which is one of the three projects on the basis of which the old 3 % royalties are still applicable for NIS. VOICE stressed that through such practice, NIS is exempted from paying millions of euros to the state budget, while the company continues to exploit natural resources in Serbia. If the new royalties were applied for NIS as well, the company should have paid over 268 million euros in royalties for 2015.