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Press Release

EULEX actions at the gates in northern Kosovo from 16 September

15 September 2011

EULEX Kosovo will carry out customs and police operational work at Gates 1 and 31 (Jarinje and Brnjak) from 16 September. This will be in line with EULEX’s executive mandate.

In effect, this means EULEX will help implement the agreement regarding customs stamps reached in Brussels on 2 September in the framework of the EU facilitated Dialogue.

The agreement on the customs stamp was the last missing piece that is needed to relaunch a proper customs system, which we are eager to do. Kosovo became a single customs area under UNMIK in 2000 and has been regarded as such by the EU ever since.

The agreement, which has nothing to do with status, is about taking a big step towards the rule of law in Kosovo, which is in the interest of all communities. The absence of the functioning customs system throughout Kosovo has allowed illegal activity to develop freely, especially but not exclusively in the north of Kosovo. Now we will be much better equipped to deal with this. It is an important step forward, and populations on all sides will benefit. The customs operations at the gates will be conducted by qualified customs experts from EULEX, in the presence of Kosovo customs officers.

EULEX calls on all citizens to support these measures in order to improve the rule of law for everyone.

The details of the measures include:

  • The Bërnjak/Brnjak crossing point will be open for personal traffic and non-commercial goods, as well as for commercial traffic and commercial goods. Imports of commercial goods through Bërnjak/Brnjak have to be cleared at the South Mitrovicë/Mitrovica Customs Terminal.
  • Until the proper infrastructure has been installed, the Jarinjë/Jarinje crossing point will be open only for personal traffic and non-commercial goods.
  • All commercial goods that are subject to excise taxes (such as alcohol, cigarettes and fuel) have to be cleared at the Merdar/Merdare crossing point or at any other Crossing Point authorised for commercial traffic.