Kosovo Market Entry

Kosovo Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

In the Republic of Kosovo, there are several thousand mostly small and medium-sized business firms that are engaged in both import and export, as well as domestic wholesale and retail trade. Some of these companies were created from pre-war foreign trade enterprises or large manufacturing enterprises. New private trading companies established after the war, as well as branches of foreign trading chains, also operate on the market. Unfortunately, there is still deep-rooted corruption in the business sector. According to cheeroutdoor.com, in the Republic of Kosovo, there are very widespread personal and family ties, which are very difficult to penetrate. Therefore, the use of local sales representatives with good knowledge of the market is often the only option for a successful business in the field of exporting to the Republic of Kosovo.

In the area of ​​intellectual property rights, the Republic of Kosovo is bound by all basic international conventions (Revised Bern Convention, Paris Convention, Stockholm Final Act, Patent Cooperation Treaty – PCT, Madrid Convention on Trade Marks, Locarno Convention on Industrial Designs, Lisbon Convention on Designations of Origin. Kosovo’s legislation in this area was prepared in cooperation with experts from the European Union and is therefore adapted to international contractual obligations. The basic legislative act regulating import conditions is the Law on Foreign Trade. Although the situation in the field of law enforcement in Kosovo is gradually improving, in the country corruption is still very high, so potential business disputes and lawsuits can last for many years.

With the exception of imports from CEFTA member countries, Kosovo applies a rate according to the customs tariff. Imports of most mineral resources, capital goods, agricultural raw materials and equipment, pharmaceutical products and machinery and equipment intended for the production of products in Kosovo are exempt from customs duties. The Kosovo customs tariff is based on the harmonized system of the World Customs Organization (WCO). At the border, you must also pay value added tax of 8% or 18% (of the CIF value + customs duty + possibly excise tax) and any excise tax on imported goods. Detailed information regarding the rules for importing goods, an overview of border crossings and customs offices can be obtained on the website of the Kosovo Customs Administration. These contain, among other things, a link to the integrated customs tariff. Customs and Tax Code of the Republic of Kosovo. Current data can be found on the website of the customs administration: https://dogana.rks-gov.

Summary information for importers is offered by the Kosovo portal for foreign trade – www.itg-rks.com. The key institutions with powers and responsibilities for the implementation of intellectual property legislation in Kosovo are:
• Kosovo Industrial Property Agency – as a body of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the agency is one of the key institutions for the protection of intellectual property. The Agency is responsible for assessing applications, compiling and maintaining registers and compiling official gazettes with data for applications for registration in the field of intellectual property.
• Office for copyright and related rights – as an administrative body of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, this office is the main institution in the field of copyright and related rights.
• Kosovo Customs – have a vital role to play in protecting society and the economy from illegal import and export activities in order to protect trademarks and counterfeit goods.
• Market Inspectorate – as a body of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the extent that it includes supervision of the implementation of laws for the purpose of consumer protection and product safety and quality.
• Kosovo Police – as an authority that protects intellectual property rights through sectors such as the Investigation and Economic Crimes Sector (ISEC) and the Cyber ​​Crimes Sector.

Source: Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Kosovo Agency for Industrial Property, Customs Administration of the Republic of Kosovo

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

The legislative system governing the conditions of individual types of business is that of business organizations. The institution responsible for the registration and registration of business entities is the Kosovo Business Registration Agency (Kosovo Business Registration Agency, ARBK, https://arbk.rks-gov.net), on whose website you can obtain basic information about the requirements for registering business companies, including the necessary forms. Here you can also view the commercial register online and search for companies according to various parameters.

The basic forms of business are:
– sole proprietorship (the majority of all business entities in Kosovo);
– public trading company (general partnership);
– limited partnership (partnership);
– a limited liability company (limited liability company, Sh.pk in Albanian) Sh.pk, the minimum amount of the share capital is not set;
– joint stock company (joint stock company, in Albanian Shoqëri aksionare – Sh.a.), the minimum amount of the share capital is EUR 10,000;
– a legal entity in joint ownership (cooperative);
– a public enterprise in the general interest;
– collective farm.

For the purposes of registering a joint-stock company or a limited liability company, it is necessary to submit the articles of association, the company (foundation) agreement, copies of the passports of foreign directors and shareholders of the company, and national identity documents in the case of citizens of Kosovo. In the case of the establishment of a branch or representation of a foreign company, a notarized copy of the extract from the commercial register of the parent company and the decision on the establishment of the company in an official translation must be submitted. A legal or accounting office can be listed as a branch office. Foreign business organizations can carry out business activities in Kosovo under the same conditions as domestic entities. They must be registered in the commercial register and submit a “foreign business organization memorandum” containing the information required by the Business Organizations Act. In accordance with the Local Government Financing Act, the municipality in which the company uses premises for its activities (whether it is a registered office or not) may also require the registration of these premises. The amount of the registration fee is determined by the municipalities themselves, depending on the type of company’s activity (from approx. EUR 100 for e.g. a trade stand). Before starting a business activity, it is necessary (within 15 days from the registration of the company) to apply to the relevant regional branch of the Kosovo Tax Administration for the allocation of a tax identification number.

Source: Kosovo Chamber of Commerce

Marketing and communication

The advertising industry in Kosovo is developing very quickly. A standard spectrum of marketing means is available. All forms of media are used, including television, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, the Internet, outdoor billboards, printed leaflets and their delivery directly to citizens in mailboxes, etc. The vast majority of advertising activity takes place through television. There are three main television companies operating in Kosovo with nationwide coverage – the state-owned RTK and the private RTV21 and KTV, which also broadcast via satellite to the world (mainly for the Kosovar diaspora). RTK has the most expensive advertising time. In the case of focusing on a certain region, regional TV stations that are significantly less financially demanding can be used. Recently, advertising with the use of the Internet and sending advertisements via mobile phones has become more and more popular. With increasing motorization and the construction of the highway network, advertising on billboards along major thoroughfares is also increasing. Since Kosovo is a predominantly Muslim country, it is not recommended to use advertisements that could have a negative effect on Muslim feelings, insult Muslims, etc.

Source: Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, CEOKOS

Issues of intellectual property protection

In the area of ​​intellectual property rights, the Republic of Kosovo is bound by all basic international conventions (Revised Bern Convention, Paris Convention, Stockholm Final Act, Patent Cooperation Treaty – PCT, Madrid Convention on Trade Marks, Locarno Convention on Industrial Designs, Lisbon Convention on Designations of Origin. Kosovo’s legislation in this area was prepared in cooperation with experts from the European Union and is therefore adapted to international contractual obligations.

Institutional framework for intellectual property in Kosovo The key institutions with powers and responsibilities for the implementation of intellectual property legislation in Kosovo are:
• Kosovo Industrial Property Agency – as a body of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the agency is one of the key institutions for the protection of intellectual property. The Agency is responsible for assessing applications, compiling and maintaining registers and compiling official gazettes with data for applications for registration in the field of intellectual property.
• Office for copyright and related rights – as an administrative body of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, this office is the main institution in the field of copyright and related rights.
• Kosovo customs authorities – have a vital role in protecting society and the economy from illegal import and export activities, protecting trademarks, protecting against counterfeit goods, etc.
• Market Inspectorate – a body of the Ministry of Trade and Industry that oversees the implementation of laws in order to consumer protection and product safety and quality.
• Kosovo Police – protects intellectual property rights through sectors such as the Investigation and Economic Crimes Sector (ISEC), the Cyber ​​Crimes Sector, etc.

Source: Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Kosovo Industrial Property Agency

Public procurement market

The Law on Public Procurement brought Kosovo’s legislation closer to European standards. The authority responsible for the awarding and supervision of public contracts is the Kosovo Regulatory Commission for Public Contracts, which publishes tendered public contracts on its website (https://e-prokurimi.rks-gov.net/). Significant tenders for larger contracts are also published on the website of the European organization EULEX based in Kosovo (www.eulex-kosovo.eu). Foreign entities have the same access to tenders as domestic ones, all larger contracts are also published in English. It is possible to appeal against the result of the tender procedure to the review body (Procurement Review Body). A persistent problem is the high level of corruption in Kosovo, which accompanies the process of awarding public contracts and selecting winners. In 2015, a new law on strategic investments was adopted. The goal of the new legislation is to support selected foreign investments that will represent high development potential. The law defines procedures and rules for prioritizing, facilitating and speeding up negotiations on investments with the aim of supporting and attracting foreign investments in selected sectors of the economy.

Source: EU Office in Kosovo, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

Kosovar companies use international payment and delivery terms. Letters of credit are most commonly used in the international payment system. For smaller amounts, we recommend requesting advance payments from Kosovo business partners. Invoices are usually due within two weeks. However, caution is required in business and payment transactions. As in other countries, in Kosovo we can also encounter customer insolvency and unreliability. However, law enforcement is very problematic and low in Kosovo. To avoid disputes, it is therefore necessary to carefully negotiate business agreements and contracts and to check the customer’s credibility in advance. Commercial disputes are governed by the provisions of the Commercial Code and at the same time negotiated business conditions in contracts. Contracts with Kosovo companies should contain formulated court clauses specifying the competent court in a specific country. The relevant Kosovo district courts or the Commercial Court in Pristina are responsible for hearing commercial disputes and enforcing contracts in Kosovo. An arbitration court is established at the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, which has the authority to decide disputes between Kosovo and foreign entities. Among the judges are also foreign experts. However, the justice system is characterized by low efficiency and, unfortunately, corruption. The resolution of a particular dispute can drag on for many years. Law enforcement is thus slow, costly and also uncertain. A large number of unsolved cases causes, among other things, significant damage to the position of the rule of law and also to economic development in Kosovo. which has the authority to decide disputes between Kosovo and foreign entities. Among the judges are also foreign experts. However, the justice system is characterized by low efficiency and, unfortunately, corruption. The resolution of a particular dispute can drag on for many years. Law enforcement is thus slow, costly and also uncertain. A large number of unsolved cases causes, among other things, significant damage to the position of the rule of law and also to economic development in Kosovo. which has the authority to decide disputes between Kosovo and foreign entities. Among the judges are also foreign experts. However, the justice system is characterized by low efficiency and, unfortunately, corruption. The resolution of a particular dispute can drag on for many years. Law enforcement is thus slow, costly and also uncertain. A large number of unsolved cases causes, among other things, significant damage to the position of the rule of law and also to economic development in Kosovo.

Source: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pristina, EULEX, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

Citizens of the Czech Republic and other member states of the European Union are exempt from the visa requirement for entry, transit and stay in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo for a period of 90 days in any 180 days. In the case of work, however, it is necessary to obtain a work and residence permit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic recommends that Czech citizens check with the embassy of the country they are visiting before traveling whether the conditions for entry and stay have not changed. To enter Kosovo, you must use a valid Czech passport, or a new type of ID card with a chip with biometric data, which must be valid for the entire duration of your intended stay. Due to the crisis related to the spread of the coronavirus in Europe, we recommend that Czech citizens check the current conditions of entry to Kosovo before traveling. Czech citizens and citizens of all European Union member states are exempt from the visa requirement for entry, transit and stay in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo. For work and study stays, it is necessary to apply for a residence permit and a work/study visa. It is not possible to travel from Kosovo via Serbia, if the traveler did not enter Kosovo via Serbia. Therefore, if a traveler enters Kosovo via the airport in Pristina, from Macedonia, Albania or Montenegro and is interested in leaving Kosovo by land via Serbia, he will not be allowed into the territory of Serbia if the police at the border find a stamp of these countries in his passport, which during the last max. 90 days, it is not preceded by a Serbian stamp. The solution is to leave Kosovo, for example, in the direction of Macedonia or Montenegro and from there enter Serbia. A simpler solution is to prove yourself at the Serbian border with a new type of ID card with a chip, which is a sufficient travel document for EU citizens on short-term trips (not exceeding 90 days) to Serbia. In Kosovo, it is not possible to rely on reimbursement of health care costs on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card or on the basis of previous agreements between the Czech Republic and Yugoslavia/Serbia. We recommend that you take out quality travel insurance with adequate coverage before traveling to Kosovo, and take the necessary medications with you. Please note that cash payment is required for medical treatment. Health care in Kosovo is at a much lower level than the usual European standard. At an acceptable price (lower than in the Czech Republic), mass urban, intercity and interstate transport as well as a taxi service operate in Kosovo. In the payment system, you can use ordinary payment cards, or cash – local currency (EUR).

Source: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pristina, MFA of the Republic of Kosovo

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

A foreigner who wants to work in Kosovo for a local or even a foreign company must apply for a long-term visa for the purpose of employment at the Ministry of the Interior, the foreign police and then apply for a work permit at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. The Department of Labor and Employment will issue a decision within the statutory period of 30 days. The application must be submitted on the prescribed form and attached to it the employment contract with the company where the applicant is to be employed, as well as proof of the relevant education or qualification, extract from the company’s commercial register, extract from the criminal record, medical report, photograph, proof of payment administrative fee and a confirmation from the labor office that no registered unemployed citizen of Kosovo meets the conditions for occupying the given position. The extension of the work permit must be requested no later than one month before the expiry of the current permit. Some professions, such as teaching and scientific workers, employees of non-governmental non-profit organizations and journalists, are exempt from the obligation to obtain a work permit. The exact conditions for the employment of foreigners are defined by the Act on the Granting of Work Permits and the Employment of Foreign Citizens and by decrees of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. General labor regulations are also contained in the new Labor Code. The average net monthly salary in the public sector in 2020 was EUR 580 and in the private sector EUR 450. The exact conditions for the employment of foreigners are defined by the Act on the Granting of Work Permits and the Employment of Foreign Citizens and by decrees of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. General labor regulations are also contained in the new Labor Code. The average net monthly salary in the public sector in 2020 was EUR 580 and in the private sector EUR 450. The exact conditions for the employment of foreigners are defined by the Act on the Granting of Work Permits and the Employment of Foreign Citizens and by decrees of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. General labor regulations are also contained in the new Labor Code. The average net monthly salary in the public sector in 2020 was EUR 580 and in the private sector EUR 450.

In Kosovo, specific hygiene and health conditions must be taken into account, which are generally at a lower level than in the Czech Republic. Jaundice type A and B occur in Kosovo, against which vaccination is recommended. In the summer months in the central/southwestern part of the country, several people become infected with tick-borne Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever every year. In contact with wild animals/dogs there is a possibility of contracting rabies. However, no vaccination is mandatory when entering Kosovo. It should be taken into account that, especially in rural areas, the availability of rapid medical assistance is limited. Health centers operate only in larger cities and in tourist areas, which are often not sufficiently equipped with medical equipment or medical supplies. In larger cities, private medical facilities are operated, providing a higher level of care that must be paid for in cash. A number of them are equipped with modern technologies and equipment, but even here the quality of the staff does not correspond to the Czech standard.

A relatively high level of health care in Kosovo is provided by EULEX medical facilities. In the case of more complex medical procedures, and if the conditions permit, treatment in the Czech Republic is recommended. There are plenty of pharmacies and they are relatively well equipped, even if drug control is not at the same level as in the Czech Republic. Therefore, we recommend that you equip yourself with basic medicines and medical supplies (bandages, medical plasters, etc.) for your trip to Kosovo. In Kosovo, it is not possible to rely on the reimbursement of health care costs on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card or on the basis of previous agreements between the Czech Republic and Yugoslavia. In addition to EULEX, American Hospital and EUROMED are also among the best equipped medical facilities in Kosovo.

Selected medical facilities:
EULEX Medical Facilities in Pristina, Industrial Zone, 10000 Pristina, tel.: +381 (0) 38 78 7154, mobile +386 (0) 49 78 1500, +386 (0) 49 78 1555
EULEX Medical Facilities in Mitrovica, St. Industrial Zone/Ferki Lisica, 40000 Mitrovica, tel.: +381 (0) 38 78 7127, mobile: +386 (0) 49 78 1600, +381 (0) 66 862 5990
Clinic Euromed, Mother Teresa Nr. 158, 12000 Fushee/Kosovo Polje, phone: +381-(0)38-534-072, e-mail: [email protected]
American Hospital in Kosovo, phone: +381 (0) 38 221 661, mobile: +377 (0) 45 500 910, +377 (0) 45 503 255
Dental office, Orthodontics, Str. Zagreb 33, Dragodan, Pristina: mobile: +377 (0) 44 69 68 18 Source:

Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pristina, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kosovo, Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo

Fairs and events

Below is a calendar of the most important international trade fair events held in Kosovo. Compared to, for example, international fairs in the Czech Republic, Kosovo events are much smaller in scale. Due to the pandemic in Kosovo, the dates of the fairs listed below have changed several times. Therefore, we recommend that visitors check the date of the selected trade fair event on the organizer’s website (www.ceokos.com) before leaving for Kosovo.

Education Fair – Education Fair / Pristina, 5-6 May 2022.
Presentation of providers of educational services, communication and information technologies, publishing and media services, etc. The fair is attended by representatives of public and private primary, secondary and higher education institutions and ministries. www.ceokos.com Email: [email protected]

EXPOKOS – industrial fair / Pristina, 25-26/5/2022
The most important trade fair event in Kosovo focused on construction, engineering, energy, mining industry, woodworking industry and modern technologies in general. As a rule, the EXPOKOS trade fair also includes a separate section focusing on healthcare and spas – MEDIKOS. www.ceokos.com Email: [email protected]

Tourism and Travel Fair, / Pristina, 5-6 May 2022.
Presentation of travel agencies, hotel and restaurant services, offers of tours in Kosovo and abroad, presentation of sports events and sports equipment, tourist supplies, clothing, footwear, etc. www.ceokos.com E-mail: [email protected]

AGROKOS – agricultural fair / Priština, 19-20 October 2022
Presentation of agricultural products, food products, agricultural machinery and equipment, technologies for food processing, packaging, refrigeration and freezing equipment, irrigation systems, fertilizers, seeds, feed, pesticides, food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. www.ceokos.com/agrokos/en/ [email protected]

Congress & Event Organization – organizer of exhibition events
www.ceokos.com
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +383 38 516 013
Fax: +383 38 516 012 Mobile:
+ 383 44 177 832, + 383 44 208 446

Source: Congress & Event Organization, www.ceokos.com

Kosovo Market Entry