Croatia backtracks on import fees, avoids Balkan trade war

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia has revoked a decision to drastically raise import fees for fruit and vegetables, avoiding a looming trade war with its Balkan neighbors.

Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro had issued an ultimatum to Croatia to reconsider the decision to raise fees for border sanitary inspections from 12 euros per truck to 270 euros.

Croatia's Agriculture Ministry said Thursday it agreed with neighboring countries to "fully normalize controls on the borders." It says the inspection fee will be dropped back down to 12 euros.

Croatian officials have said the measure was imposed on 168 non-EU countries to improve the quality of imports, and wasn't meant to hurt the regional neighbors' economies — although the four are the main exporters of fruit and vegetables to Croatia.

The neighbors had threatened to retaliate.