SERBIA WILL PROBABLY MANTAIN OIL MONOPOLY. (Probabilmente la Serbia manterrà il monopolio petrolifero)

Private oil traders want to conclude an agreement with Naftna industrija Srbije for the period of three years, according to which they would buy oil products exclusively from NIS. Those who are going to import oil products are going to face problems and limitations in terms of the necessary infrastructure and fuel storage space. It therefore seems that some sort of monopoly is going to continue after 2011 as well, because NIS and small private oil traders own in total almost 1000 filling stations, out of 1200 stations in Serbia.

The only encouraging news is that both sides, provided that they conclude this agreement, will have to report it to the Commission for the Protection of Competition and obtain its consent. Dijana Markovic‐Bajalovic, the President of the Commission, said that it all depends on whether or not this agreement could have negative impact on the competition.

“We would have to look into the matter, because at the moment we are not familiar with the details and we don’t know whether NIS and the small private oil traders actually represent 80 percent of the market or not. The Commission is competent to decide whether to approve or disapprove this agreement,” said Dijana Markovic‐Bajalovic.

The regulation of the Serbian Government, banning the import of oil derivatives, has been introduced to protect NIS from the competition and to give the refineries in Pancevo and Novi Sad time to carry out the maintenance, repair and modernisation works and to introduce the European standards in their fuel production. This regulation expires on 1 January 2011.