Kosovo prevented from joining the World Customs Organization

MFAAt the 132nd session of the Council of the World Customs Organization which closed today in Brussels, with participation of Serbian representatives as well, the self-proclaimed Kosovo was prevented from joining the Organization while its status remains in dispute and frozen.

The Council of the World Customs Organization set up a Working Group on matters related to admissions to the Organization, which will, among other things, address the issue of self-proclaimed Kosovo.

The Council decisions made in July and December 2017 will remain in force until further notice, whereby the status of “Kosovo”, its full participation and voting rights of representatives of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Governments in Pristina will be frozen pending the report of the Working Group and any new WCO Council decision in this respect.

The discussion on this agenda item brought to the fore the opposing views within the WCO on unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo while Serbia received an overwhelming support by many delegations.
The representatives of Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Cyprus, Slovak Republic, Belarus, Georgia, Chile, Azerbaijan, Cuba and Indonesia spoke in favour of Serbia’s position while Congo, Syria, Angola, Cambodia, Kyrgyz Republic, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka offered their support in the form of written notes.

Initial proposals of the Working Group are expected to be put forward at the Council’s next session in mid-2019. Due to the divisions over this issue, for the third time in a row the World Customs Organization failed to adopt the minutes in which the self-proclaimed Kosovo is referred to as “signatory to an instrument of accession”.