Training for over 500 Financial Civil Servants in Value Added Tax

On 23 April 2007, the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) marked the finalisation of a part of a training course for over 500 civil servants on the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) in accordance with EU standards. The government of Germany provided experts from different regions in Germany so as to train ITA staff on the new VAT law, while the EU provided funding.

Mr. Kemal Causevic, Director of the ITA, thanked the government of Germany and the EU for this important capacity-building effort and expressed his confidence that it has been a worthy investment.

Mr. Dragan Vrankic, BiH Minister of Finance and Treasury, noted that the implementation of VAT has been one of the great successes of recent years. He stated that efforts to reform Public Administration must continue and pledged that BiH will continue to do its part in co-financing and cooperation with the EU.

His Excellency Michael Schmunk, Ambassador of Germany, noted that without financing, no government can do anything. This is why VAT has been of central importance for BiH, collecting funds 40 % greater than expected. He added that the foundation of VAT is qualified experts who know both the law and standards in inspection. The German government organized over 20 three-week courses for inspectors and three study trips for members of the ITA management.

Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of Delegation of the European Commission to BiH, informed that the EU has invested over 92 million euro in the fields of customs and taxation since 1996, through EU CAFAO. This has enabled the country to collect revenues which are essential for the State and entities to function. He recommended caution on the subject of introducing multiple VAT rates as they could damage the functioning of a successful system.