At an extraordinary meeting of the Council of the World Customs Organization (WCO), held in Brussels on 14 and 15 December this year, a decision was made to set up a Working Group to deal with accession issues, including that of so-called “Kosovo”, in line with the WCO Council decision of July 2017. This means that so-called “Kosovo” is still being denied voting rights due to the fact that its status in the Organization has been disputed by around half of the membership not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija. It was decided at the meeting that the Working Group would get back to the Council with its conclusions and proposals at its next meeting in mid-2018 to discuss Kosovo’s accession to the WCO. In the meantime, the status of Kosovo in the Organization has been disputed and suspended.
It should be recalled that “Kosovo” sought to become a member in January this year by depositing an instrument of accession to the Kingdom of Belgium, as depositary of the Convention Establishing a Customs Cooperation Council which the Republic of Serbia along with half of the WCO Member States challenged at the meeting held in July, when so-called Kosovo was stripped of its rights. Both at the Council meetings in July and December, it became obvious that the WCO members were divided regarding the status of so-called Kosovo.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office for Kosovo and Metohija and the Customs Administration continued to work together at the December WCO meeting to prevent illegitimate accession of so-called Kosovo to the World Customs Organization.