Exporting guide to

Kosovo

Overview

Situated in the heart of the Balkans, with the youngest population in Europe, Kosovo offers numerous opportunities for UK businesses. The economy is small but growing steadily with support from a large diaspora and the international community. Kosovo has applied for EU candidate status, has used the Euro since 2002, and has deep affection for the UK and the West following the 1999 NATO intervention.

Trade statistics

£12.0 million total UK exports to Kosovo for the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: January 2024)

197th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: January 2024)

less than 0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: January 2024)

Growing economy

Kosovo has a population of 1.8 million, over 50% of whom are under 25 years old. Kosovo is an upper–middle income country, and has experienced robust economic growth since independence in 2008, largely outperforming neighbours in the region. This is principally driven by large-scale diaspora tourism, remittances and inward investment.

Trade agreement

Kosovo was the first country in the region to sign a post-EU-exit Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the UK in 2019. This secured continued preferential trade access between the UK and Kosovo. Kosovo also implemented trade or preference agreements with the EU, US, its Balkan neighbours, Turkey, Norway, and Japan.

Top five UK goods exported to Kosovo , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

Goods Value (£ million )
Meat & meat preparations 3.4
Other manufactures (consumer) 1.2
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 1.1
Miscellaneous foods 0.9
General industrial machinery (intermediate) 0.8

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: February 2024
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Kosovo.

Kosovo: at a glance

Currency

Euro

Official languages

Albanian, Serbian

Population

1.8 million

World Bank, 2022

Time zone

GMT+1

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries in Kosovo, from professional services, to travel infrastructure and mining.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Kosovo

Establishing a business

The Business Registration Agency in Kosovo (ARBK) is responsible for the registration of new businesses.

There are two business chambers that assist UK businesses in Kosovo: The British Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo (BCCK), and the British Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (BKCC). In addition, it can also be beneficial to find a sales agent, representative or distributor to help make contacts and navigate the complex regulatory environment. Explore our list of qualified legal experts.

Tax

VAT is set according to the cost, insurance, and freight of goods. Certain products are also subject to an additional excise tax. These include:

  • petroleum
  • tobacco
  • vehicles
  • alcohol

The excise tax is applied as a pre-determined amount, the value of which depends on the item.

The UK and Kosovo signed a Double Taxation Convention in 2015.

Standard Value Added Tax (VAT)

The VAT rate is 18%. A reduced rate of 8% applies to certain products such as food and drink items and educational materials.

Corporate Income Tax (CIT)

The CIT rate for annual turnover over €30,000 is 10%.

Personal Income Tax (PIT)

The PIT rates are progressive up to 10%.

Import duties

Look up commodity codes, import duties, taxes and controls

Operating in Kosovo

To improve the ease of operating a business, Kosovo has implemented simplified business registration procedures and a legal framework which has strengthened the rights of creditors and debtors.

Intellectual property

Speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting. Kosovo Industrial Property Agency is an administrative central body of the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade which is responsible for legal protection of innovation, trademark, and industrial designs.

Payment terms

The preferred payment terms in Kosovo are documentary collections and letters of credit. The safest method of payment is through wire transfers from/to local banks.

Business Customs

Kosovo generally follows modern working practices. The working week is Monday to Friday, and most public institutions work from 8:00 to 16:00, with similar schedules in the private sector. Shops tends to open seven days a week.

Communication and culture

English is widely spoken and well understood, and many people also speak German. Albanian is the main language used by approximately 93% of the population, while Serbian is also an official language, and is spoken by Kosovo-Serbs and Kosovo-Albanians over the age of 45. Communications with public institutions tend to be in Albanian or English.

Kosovans are friendly and welcoming to foreigners, and feel particular affection for the UK due to the NATO intervention in 1999 which ended the war, as well as the UK’s support for Kosovo’s state-building. Meetings in cafes and restaurants are common.

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