On May 23, 2016, Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ) issued a temporary ban on all imports of medicines and medical devices. Until further notice, shipments arriving into SJJ will be immediately returned to their port of origin. This temporary ban is the result of an ongoing dispute between SJJ and the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices Bosnia and Herzegovina (ALMBIH) over the in-transit storage of health products.
ALMBIH had previously warned SJJ that inbound shipments of medicines and medical devices could only be stored by SJJ’s cargo services for a maximum of 48 hours for ambient freight and for no more than 12 hours for temperature controlled shipments.i
Representatives for SJJ state that the timeframes imposed by ALMBIH are unreasonable, considering that cargo clearance and handling procedures may require more than 48 hours to complete. The representatives also assert that the ALMBIH’s requirements are unlawful because Customs’ law allows in-transit shipments to remain in the custody of international carrier facilities for up to 20 days.
Due to this standoff between SJJ and AIMBIH, the airport reached the decision to ban all imports of health products until an agreement is reached. During this time, any company shipping medicines and medical devices through SJJ should consider alternative routing.
While the SJJ ban is in force, Marken is redirecting inbound freight by road transport and utilizing border-crossing clearance procedures into Bosnia and Herzegovina.