The facilitative scheme introduced by the Albanian Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj includes additional measures part of the agriculture package drafted and approved by the government in the autumn of 2014. The compensation scheme for farmers was extended from 6% to 20% in 2014, providing a direct stimulus for Albanian farmers enabling the expansion of their production activities.

“This scheme was designed to not assign farmers the administrative burden of issuing invoices, declaration papers or using the cash register. The farmer is only obliged to have a unique ID number and sell his/her products as well as get 20% compensation”, Minister Ahmetaj told the press.

Some of the amendments to the regulation on compensation of farmers include: allowing farmers to do cash transactions for amounts up to 30,000 Lek with fellow colleagues, business partners, collectors and other exporters that have a unique ID business number. According to the regulation, farmers will do bank transactions for sales and purchases that exceed 150,000 Lek. Payments for sales/purchases over 30,000 Lek up to 150,000 Lek will be done through Post Office.

Minister Ahmetaj called on Albanian Post officials to intensify their services and facilitate payments for farmers as well as extend services in rural areas to the benefits of farmers and their buyers. In addition, farmers will also benefit from automatic VAT reimbursement. Exporters of agricultural products are classified as risk free subjects and as such they are entitled to automatic reimbursement of VAT within 30 days. Farmers get the 20% compensation fee and VAT reimbursement for his/her activity within thirty days, the regulation reads. This will enable agriculture businesses to invest and expand processing and exporting capacities.

To ease the process of issuing invoices to companies that buy farmer’s products, the government plans to introduce a special procedure that includes the use of electronic billing. Businesses in agriculture can either use invoice books obtained at the Regional Tax Directorate; write the bills for sold items or register the bills in purchase/sale accounts.

The entering to force of this guideline paves the way to the use of e-invoice for all businesses that buy produce from farmers. They can draft an e-invoice with the required data and deliver it to the Regional Tax Directorate which will be the one to assign a serial number.

Minister Ahmetaj announced additional measures at border points to ease procedures for exports of agriculture products. According to regulation nr 8874, dated 04.04.2016, authorities in all custom points can offer their services to exports 24 hours a day./