1.BUSINESS REGISTRATION

Starting a new business

Once you have decided to start a new business to do international trade transactions you must decide on the form of the new business. The business form or structure is important for tax purposes and also for determining your liability in the event of a law suit or other claim. After deciding on the business form, you must then register your new business. This Part presents business forms and the steps necessary to start a new business, including registration.

Types of businesses

Below is a brief explanation of the various types of businesses in Kosovo. You may wish to consult with your legal advisors and accountants when choosing a business form for your international trade activities:

Individual business

With individual businesses, the owner has unlimited liability for all debts of the organization. The organization has an official name, or it includes the lawful surname of the owner, and it includes the acronym “I.B.”

General partnership

With general partnership all partners are jointly and individually responsible for all debts and other obligations of the organization. The collective organization (partnership) has one name which may include the name of one of the partners, by putting before or immediately after it the acronym “G.P.”

Limited partnership

In partnerships, in addition to “unlimited” partners (partners who are responsible without limitations jointly and individually for debts of the company) there may also be “limited” partners or those partners who are responsible for the obligations of the company to the limit of the value of their contributions in the charter capital. Such a partnership has a name which can include the name of one or more partners, by putting before or immediately after it the acronym “L.P.”

Limited Liability Companies (L.L.C)

Limited Liability Companies are those organizations established by one or more founders, who are responsible only to the level of their contribution and all assets. The Limited Liability Company has one name in which can be included the name of one or more partners, by putting before or immediately after it the acronym “L.L.C”.

KBRA may register a limited liability company without the need to provide evidence for payment of the capital.

Joint Stock Companies (J.S.C.)

Joint Stock Companies are those organizations whose capital is divided in shares and the shareholders are responsible only to the level of the value of their contribution. The organization can be established and have one or more shareholders. It has one name before or behind which should include the acronym “J.S.C.”. The amount of the founding capital for these organizations is at least 10.000 Euro.

Foreign Company

Can be registered as:

  • Branch of a Foreign Trade Company – means a registered entity in Kosovo for the exercise of legitimate economic activity by a Foreign Trading Company established under a law of a jurisdiction outside Kosovo. After registration, it has all the rights and obligations created under applicable law. The name should be written “BRANCH IN KOSOVO” or the abbreviation “B. K.”.
  • The foreign company may also be registered as a Foreign Trade Representation Office in Kosovo. The official name should include the full name of the Foreign Trade Company with the suffix “Office of Representation in Kosovo” or the abbreviation “O.R. K”.

Agricultural cooperatives

An Agricultural Cooperative is a business organization created by natural or legal persons all of whom should be farmers who contribute with their own private property in the shared capital. An Agricultural Cooperative is established by at least five (5) farmers that are signatories of obligations. The cooperative shall not be established without capital and it shall not exist without capital. The capital is divided into shares of equal value with a minimal value of 10 EUR. The director may not be a member of the cooperative, which is in accordance with the Law No 2003/9 on Agricultural Cooperatives and Law No.03/L-004 on Amending and Supplementing Law on Agricultural Cooperatives Nr-2003/9.

Registering your new business

New businesses in Kosovo must be registered with the Kosovo Business Registration Agency (KBRA). Business Organizations can be established and registered in Kosovo for any lawful purpose and may perform any lawful activity specified in the nomenclature of activity codes.

Codes are numbers that match the activity of business you chose to open. Forms that need to be filled out to open a business contain a section where you are required to write the code (on the left side) and the written description (on the right side) of the business. The list of Codes can be found at the website of the Kosovo Business Registration Agency at  https://arbkonline.rks-gov.net/ . The codes are comprised of four digits.

The Kosovo Business Registration Agency (KBRA) registers all new businesses, performs modifications of business data and business closures, issues registration certificates with a fiscal number, certificates of value added tax, import-export certificate, and provides information and free forms.

The following types of businesses can be registered at KBRA: Individual businesses, general partnerships, partnerships, limited liability companies, joint stock companies, foreign companies and agricultural cooperatives.

Since these types differ from each other in legal liabilities, documents required for their initial registration are also different. You should fill out the corresponding form based on the type of business you wish to establish. New business can be registered also online at https://arbkonline.rks-gov.net/

KBRA

Address: St. “Muharrem Fejza” n.n.  Lagjja e Spitalit
Pristina, Republic of Kosovo

2.OBTAINING CERTIFICATES AND OTHER LICENCES

Certificate for Value Added Tax (VAT)

Under applicable law, any economic entity that plans to import or export must be registered for VAT. Application for obtaining a VAT Certificate can be done at the offices of the Kosovo Tax Administration in Pristina (see address below).

TAK

Address: ish-Ndertesa e Germise,  Square„Skenderbeu“, Boulevard  MotherTeresa n.n. Pristina, Republic of Kosovo

If the economic entity has registered its activity in other parts of Kosovo, then it may apply to other regional TAK centers, which operate in:

Prizren
Peja
Ferizaj
Gjilan
Mitrovica, and
Gjakova

For more information visit: www.atk-ks.org

Obtaining licences

No licence applicable on those products

Registration with Kosovo Customs

After submitting a certificate of business and VAT, an economic entity should request from Kosovo customs to activate their data in the electronic system of the Kosovo Customs – ASYCUDA Vorld

Kosovo Customs

Address:
Customs HQ

Str. Rexhep Krasniqi,n.n. Pristina 10000

CUSTOMS PROCEDURES ON EXPORT

A “customs procedure” is the legal action to effect release of goods from “customs control”.  Customs control refers to the measures applied to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Kosovo, pertaining to the importation, exportation or transit of goods.

Regardless of the customs procedure that a trader wishes to apply to a shipment, a customs goods declaration is required to be completed by an importer or exporter (or a duly authorized representative) and lodged with Kosovo Customs in order for a shipment to be released from customs control.

In preparing a customs goods declaration, the trader must first determine and declare which customs procedure is to be declared for further treatment of the goods.  Examples of customs procedures, which may be applied to a shipment of goods, include, among others, importation, exportation, transit, temporary importation, warehousing, trans-shipment, re-exportation, duty drawback, and inward processing.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIVES

For the realization of an international commercial transaction in Kosovo, either to import, export or transit goods, trading companies will need the engagement of a third-party representative who will represent them in the procedures foreseen at border agencies such as Customs, Border Police, Food and Veterinary Agency, etc. These representatives are known as freight forwarding or customs clearance agents. In Kosovo there are currently more than 100 customs brokerage firms and approximately 500 individual customs brokers. Many customs brokers are represented by the Customs Brokers Association which is affiliated with the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce. The level of professionalism and competency of customs brokers can vary so when selecting a broker to act as your agent you should carefully check their background and reputation. The fees for the services of customs brokers are individually negotiated and are based on trade volume, number of items listed in an invoice, complexity of the transaction, and similar considerations.

Other third-party agents that are essential to arranging the details of transporting goods internationally are known as freight forwarders.  Freight forwarders are experts regarding the various transportation arrangements that must be made to move goods by truck, rail, ocean or air (or some combination of these in multi-modal shipments) from the exporter to the importer. They will advise you regarding the cost and times involved with various shipping options and then make specific shipping arrangements for you and obtain necessary insurance.  Frequently the same third-party representative firm provides both customs brokerage and freight forwarder services.  Several major international freight forwarding firms operate in Kosovo. The fees for freight forwarders are determined on a per container basis and are based on the weight and volume of the shipments, time of year, and similar considerations.

DECLARING EXPORTS

Export declarations may be lodged at the customs office responsible for supervising the place where the exporter is established, or the customs office where the goods are packed or loaded for export shipment.

Release for export will be granted by Customs on the condition that the goods in question leave Kosovo in the same condition as when the export declaration was lodged and accepted.

The exporter is considered to be the person on whose behalf the export declaration is made and who is the owner of the goods or has a similar right of disposal over them at the time when the declaration is lodged with Customs.  Where ownership or a similar right of disposal over the goods belongs to a person established outside Kosovo pursuant to the contract on which the export is based, the exporter will be considered to be the contracting party established in Kosovo.

More Information about Declaring Exports

Where export formalities are not for any reason completed at the customs office responsible for supervising the place where the exporter is established or where the goods are packed or loaded for export shipment, the customs office where the export declaration has been lodged will send a copy of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) to the first mentioned Customs office.

Where the export declaration is made on the basis of the SAD, copies 1, 2 and 3 will be used.  The customs office where the export declaration has been lodged (customs office of export) will stamp Box A and, where appropriate, complete Box D. On granting release of the goods, it will retain copies 1 and 2 and return copy 3 to the person concerned.

Copy 3 of the SAD and the goods released for export will be presented to Customs at the customs office of exit.

The customs office of exit means in the case of goods exported by:

  • Rail, post or air, the customs office competent for the place where the goods are taken over under a single transport contract for transport to another country by the railway companies, the postal authorities or the airlines companies;
  • Pipeline and of electrical energy, the office where the exporter is established;
  • Other means or in circumstances not covered by (a) and (b), the last customs office before the goods leave Kosovo.

The customs office of exit will satisfy itself that the goods presented correspond to those declared and will supervise their physical departure.  Where the declarant enters ‘RET-EXP’ in Box 44 or otherwise indicates his wish to have Copy No 3 returned to him, that customs office will certify the physical departure of the goods by means of an endorsement on the back of Copy No 3 and will give that copy to the person who presented it or, where that is not possible, to an intermediary named in Box 50 and established in the district of the office of exit, for return to the declarant. The endorsement will take the form of a stamp showing the name of the office and the date.

In the case of a split exportation, the endorsement will be given only for those goods which are actually exported.  In the case of a split exportation via several different customs offices, the customs office of exit where the original of copy 3 was presented will, upon receiving a duly substantiated request, certify a copy of copy 3 for each part of the goods in question, with a view to it being presented to another office of exit concerned. The original of copy 3 will be noted accordingly.

Where the customs office of exit establishes that goods are missing, officers will note the copy of the declaration presented and inform the customs office of export.

Where the customs office of exit establishes that there are goods in excess, it will refuse exit to these goods until the export formalities have been completed.

When the customs office of exit establishes a discrepancy in the nature of the goods, it will refuse exit until the export formalities have been completed and will also inform the customs office of export.

Where goods sent to another country or a customs office of exit under a transit procedure are concerned, the office of departure will endorse copy 3 in accordance with paragraph 3 and return it to the declarant after making the endorsement ‘Export’, in red, on all copies of the transit document or any other document replacing it. The customs office of exit will control the physical exit of the goods.

Where goods under excise duty suspension arrangements are sent to another country under cover of the accompanying administrative document provided for in the Excise Code, the customs office of export will endorse Copy No 3 of the  SAD in accordance with paragraph 3 and return it to the declarant after entering the word ‘Export’ in red and affixing the stamp referred to in paragraph 3 on all copies of the accompanying administrative document.

Reference will be made to the accompanying document on Copy No 3 of the SAD and vice versa.

The customs office of exit will supervise the physical exit of the goods and send back to the consignor the certified copy of the accompanying administrative document intended for him.

The customs office of export may ask the exporter to provide evidence that the goods have left Kosovo.

Oral declarations may be made only at the customs office of exit.

Where goods leave Kosovo without an export declaration, such declaration must be lodged retrospectively by the exporter at the customs office competent for the place where he is established.

Acceptance of this declaration will be subject to presentation by the exporter, to the satisfaction of the customs office concerned, of evidence concerning the nature and quantity of the goods in question and the circumstances under which they left Kosovo. That office will also endorse copy 3 of the SAD.

Retrospective acceptance of the declaration will not preclude application of any applicable penalties.

Where goods released for export do not leave Kosovo, the exporter will immediately inform the customs office of export. Copy 3 of the SAD in question will be returned to that office.

Where a change in the transport contract has the effect of terminating inside Kosovo a transport operation which should have finished outside it, the companies or authorities in question may only carry out the amended contract with the agreement of the customs office of exit, in the case of a transit operation, the office of departure.  In this case copy 3 should be returned.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR EXPORT

Two (2) documents are required for export transactions:

  1. A unique customs declaration (See the specimen form in Annex 16 of Administrative Instruction No. 11/2009), and
  2. A commercial invoice.

    In addition, a free movement of goods certificate “EUR 1” may be requested from the country of importation, if Kosovo has signed a Free Trade Agreement with that country and the exporter wishes to benefit from reduced or excluded taxes.

By providing more accurate information on commercial invoices, exporters will be better able to arrange faster cargo clearances on outward cargo movements in Kosovo, and inward cargo clearances in the country where the goods are destined for importation.

A customs export declaration (SAD) may be lodged at any customs office in Kosovo, regardless from where the goods are to be exported.  An export declaration may be lodged at any time, and Kosovo Customs may accept that the goods in question have been presented to Customs when a declaration is lodged.

Customs export declarations must normally be lodged either electronically or delivered in hard copy to a Kosovo Customs office during the days and hours appointed for business.  However, Customs may, at the request of the exporter, and at the expense of the exporter, authorize the declaration to be lodged outside the appointed days and hours. Special service charges may be applied for this service outside normal office hours and will be applied to recover the extra costs associated with delivery of the service.

The customs export declaration must be completed by using the adequate codes which are provided in Annex 19 of “Administrative Instruction No. 11/2009 Laying down Provisions for the Implementation of the Customs Code”.

The exporter or freight-forwarding agent must lodge an export declaration at any authorized customs office where they may be able or wish to present the goods.

The export declaration will then be used as a transit document, covering the movement of goods from terminal (where the export declaration has been lodged) to the border control post of exit.  The ASYCUDA World IT system used by Customs has a functionality called “export release” through which the customs officer at the border control post of exit will confirm that goods have left the territory of Kosovo.

A more sophisticated approach is also supported by the ASYCUDA system, which consists in using the T1 procedure (and guaranty accounts), to cover the movement of goods (declared for export) from a customs terminal to the border control post of exit.  In this case the T1 is generated automatically from the assessed export declaration and must be closed at the border control post exit.  Even in this case, the “Export Release” operation is then performed by Customs.

Single Administrative Document

EUR1 Certificate

License form for border phytosanitary control

CMR