EU to look into new Serb taxes

LONDON (Reuters) – Serbia and Montenegro could be headed for a clash with the European Union after a Commission spokesman said yesterday it was investigating the region’s new export tax on scrap metals. Serbia and Montenegro introduced a 15 percent export duty on metal scrap, and increased to 18 percent its import tax on steel products to protect domestic manufacturers. Traders said the new taxes were deterring scrap exporters from trading with neighboring countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, lifting amounts of cheaper domestic supplies. «We have asked the (Commission) delegation in Serbia to investigate this matter,» Alfio Anzalone told Reuters. Although he declined to give more details, the European Commission set a precedent in a similar case recently when taking retaliation by cutting Russian steel exports by 12 percent after Moscow imposed export tariffs on scrap metals in 1999.