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Customs Regulations in Serbia: What Travelers Need to Know

The allure of Serbia lies in its wealth of history, lively culture, breathtaking scenery, and welcoming atmosphere, attracting numerous travelers from around the world. Yet, as you prepare for your adventure and are about to meet this captivating destination, equipping yourself with knowledge about its customs regulations is a must to ensure a seamless and stress-free travel experience. Understanding the requirements will not only shield you from unpleasant surprises at the border but also facilitate compliance with Serbian customs regulations and rules.

Customs Regulations in Serbia

Before you visit this enchanting country, take some time to understand Serbia’s customs regulations and rules. With this important information, you will explore Serbia with confidence and avoid any unnecessary issues. Let us help you understand the details of Serbian customs regulations, making your trip to this amazing place unforgettable.

Understanding the legal framework: customs regulations in Serbia

In Serbia, customs regulations are enforced through several legislative acts that address various aspects of goods and currency movement across the national borders:

  • Customs Law (Carinski zakon): The Customs Law establishes the framework for the customs service, defining its organization, authority, and responsibilities. Additionally, it outlines the rights and obligations of customs officers in Serbia.
  • Law on Foreign Trade (Zakon o spoljnotrgovinskom poslovanju): The Law on Foreign Trade focuses on regulating international trade activities in Serbia. It sets forth conditions and methods for engaging in foreign trade and includes protective measures for safeguarding the country’s interests in international commerce.
  • Law on Foreign Currency Operations (Zakon o deviznom poslovanju): The Law on Foreign Currency Operations controls how money is moved across Serbia’s borders. It makes sure that financial transactions with foreign countries are properly managed and supervised.

Serbia’s customs regulations and rules are influenced by agreements with other countries and groups. For example, Serbia is a party to the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) that promotes trade among its members. Additionally, in April 2008, Serbia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union, giving it special advantages in trading with Europe. These agreements are essential for Serbia’s trade and economy with the rest of the world.

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Green and red corridor at Serbian customs

There are 2 different channels for customs control in Serbia, designed for different kinds of travelers and goods.

The green corridor is for citizens crossing Serbia’s customs border with goods that are neither subject to customs duties nor restricted or prohibited. Travelers in the green corridor don’t need to fill out a customs declaration and may pass without an extra baggage check. However, customs authorities are authorized to conduct checks if they suspect any violations. In simple terms, the green corridor is for travelers who don’t carry goods that require you to pay duties at the customs border.

Here’s when citizens crossing Serbia’s customs border shall choose the red corridor:

  • The goods they carry go over the allowed limits.
  • The goods they carry require a mandatory declaration.
  • The goods they carry are restricted or prohibited.

If you use the red corridor, you must complete a customs declaration and show it to the customs officer. Additionally, you’ll have to pay a duty that makes 10% of the goods’ value and VAT. Your total fiscal burden in this case can be up to 30% of the goods’ value.

Keep in mind that a simplified procedure applies to goods worth up to EUR 3,000.

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Currency import limits in Serbia

Serbia has relaxed rules for bringing in or taking out foreign currency and securities. As long as the total amount of currency or securities does not exceed EUR 10,000 per traveler, there is no need to declare it. For example, a family of 4 can bring up to EUR 40,000 without any declarations.

However, if the amount exceeds the EUR 10,000 limit, filling out a customs declaration becomes mandatory. In such cases, travelers must provide supporting documents to prove the origin of their money. These documents may include receipts from currency exchanges, bank statements, salary certificates, and other relevant records. Additionally, travelers may export currency withdrawn from their personal account in a Serbian bank but they must produce a corresponding bank statement.

To summarize, travelers are allowed to comfortably bring up to EUR 10,000 into Serbia without any declaration requirement for cash, securities, and similar items. Yet, if they plan to import or export more than the said amount, they will have to explain the source of the funds to customs officials and pay any applicable taxes as required by law.

Non-residents are allowed to take amounts exceeding EUR 10,000 out of Serbia. This applies to 2 specific groups:

  • Foreign citizens residing abroad, including diplomatic and consular representatives of foreign states in Serbia, along with their family members.
  • Serbian nationals who have been living abroad for over a year, either on a residence permit or work visa.

Under Serbia’s customs regulations and rules, non-residents are allowed to take more than EUR 10,000 out of the country if they have these documents:

  • A foreign currency import certificate issued by the customs service to show that they brought foreign money into Serbia when entering the country.
  • A certificate from a Serbian bank confirming they withdrew the money from their bank account.
  • A confirmation from an exchange office stating that the money they are taking out was earned by selling Serbian currency (dinars) they got earlier when using their payment card in Serbia.

Thus, people may only take a specific amount of money out of the country, as confirmed by those documents.

If residents of Serbia want to export any amount above EUR 10,000, they must show official proof of their emigration when crossing the border. This proof includes an emigration visa and a certificate of deregistration in Serbia, both issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).

Bringing money into Serbia on plastic cards: rules for residents and non-residents

Under the customs regulations and rules currently in force in Serbia, both residents and non-residents may bring as much money as they want on their payment cards when crossing Serbia’s borders. There are no restrictions for either group.

Consequences of not declaring your money

Under the Law on Foreign Currency Operations, if you do not declare funds exceeding EUR 10,000 when leaving Serbia, the customs authorities will temporarily seize the undeclared money. Mind that they shall draft a special report for this purpose.

Within 2 days from the date of the offense, the seized funds will be transferred to a designated account with the National Bank of Serbia. After that, the authorities will conduct further investigations following the local laws.

Import and export of goods

When travelers enter Serbia, they don’t have to pay import taxes for their personal belongings. They may bring certain items into the country without any extra charges:

  • up to 1 liter of wine or strong alcoholic beverages
  • up to 50 cigarettes, 25 cigarillos (each weighing up to 3 grams), 10 cigars, or 50 grams of tobacco
  • up to 25 milliliters of perfume or 50 milliliters of eau de toilette
  • medicines and medical equipment for personal use
  • scientific literature and general fiction
  • car fuel (only in the car’s tank).

If any of these items exceed the specified limits, a duty of 10% of the item’s value will be imposed for its import.

Importing plants into Serbia

To enter Serbia, you need special permits for live animals, animal products, pets, plants, and amateur radio stations. However, there are exceptions for plants if they meet the following conditions:

  • They originate from any of the European countries.
  • The plants are for personal use during your trip and not for sale or any business purposes.

As provided for under the Regulation on Procedure and Conditions for Import of Small Quantities of Plants, Plant Products, and Prescribed Objects and Definition of Small Quantities of Individual Plant Species and Plant Products, you can bring the following items in Serbia:

  • up to 5 kg of fresh fruits and vegetables (excluding potatoes)
  • 1 bouquet or wreath of cut flowers and plant parts
  • up to 100 grams or up to 5 packets of flower and vegetable seeds in their original packaging
  • up to 3 kg of bulbs and tubers of decorative plants
  • up to 3 indoor plants and plants in pots (excluding bonsai)
  • up to 10 balcony plants and ornamental shrubs (excluding trees).

Bringing pets into Serbia

In Serbia, you can bring up to 5 of your pets with you while traveling, but make sure to have all the required international documents for them to get your animals through customs.

If your pet doesn’t meet the existing veterinary requirements, they might not be allowed to enter Serbia. In such cases, your pet could be sent back to your home country or quarantined.

Find out what business opportunities await you in Serbia.

Prohibited and restricted items for import into Serbia

Serbia has strict rules about what you can bring into the country. Under the customs regulations and rules in Serbia, you are not allowed to import drugs, poisons, explosives, certain types of weapons, and other dangerous substances. If you break these rules, you may face fines or even criminal charges.

Mind that if you want to bring in animals, plants, food products, medicines, or cosmetics, they will be carefully checked by veterinarians and health authorities. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and permits.

If you plan to take cultural or historical items out of Serbia, you will require a special permit from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations.

If you’re thinking about starting a business in Serbia, opening bank accounts in another country, or getting a residence permit in Serbia, International Wealth experts will be happy to provide you with free advice and information. Don’t hesitate a second to get in touch with us for help.

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