Buying and Selling

flag Montenegro Montenegro: Buying and Selling

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | E-commerce | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier

 

Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
International Economic Cooperation
Montenegro benefits from the European Union ATP protocol (Autonomous Trade Preferences) which allows it to export to the EU without Customs duties on 95% of products.

 

The country has signed a free trade agreement CEFTA which gives it access to the south-east free market, which represents 30 million consumers.

The free trade treaty signed with Russia allows Montenegrin products free access to Russia, that is to a market of 150 million consumers.

Non Tariff Barriers
Montenegro has liberalized its foreign trade and done away with non-tarrif barriers.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duties are 3%, which is very low in comparison with other countries in the region.


Customs Classification
The Law on Customs tarrifs came into force on 1 January 2006. This Law was adjusted to the Harmonized System on 23 March 2007, and to the tarrif classification of the EU. The new regulations provide for a classification of 10 229 products divided into 97 classes. Customs duties are calculated on the basis of an ad valorem rate, that is to say that fixed rates of duty are applied to the value of the goods imported. There are 14 different rates, from 0% to 30%.
Import Procedures
Montenegro is a small country but it remains open to foreign trade. Import procedures are very liberal. The Law on foreign trade came into force on 21 April 2004 in order to conform to EU and WTO standards.
Importing Samples
Duties for importing samples are free if the unit price does not exceed 50 EUR and the total does not reach 3 000 000
 
 
For Further Information
Customs Administration

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing opportunities

Main Advertising Agencies
DBO advertising agency
McCann Podgorica
Bild Studio
Chodex

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The retail sector was restructured as sales chains were privatized and acquired by larger groups, leading to the emergence of new private retailers in the market. Retail grocery and trade is now dominated by private regional companies such as Idea, Voli and Lakovic. The trade sector in Montenegro is now 100% privately owned. Customers are increasingly switching from local markets to modern shopping centers, newly established domestic supermarkets, and retail chains where goods are often cheaper and of better quality. The retail sector also includes kiosks, small shops and open-air markets.

The Foreign Trade Law adopted in 2004 decreases barriers for doing business and executing foreign trade transactions in accordance with WTO agreements. However, the law includes some restrictive measures, such as quotas, and discretionary government intervention.  Customs and tax enforcement has helped reduce illegal imports and unlicensed business activities.
Market share
Wholesalers: distribution circuits are short, importing wholesalers sell their products on to retail shops.

The main wholesale chains are: Lamex (specialized in cosmetics and toiletries), Bar-Kod (specialized in the import of tobacco, foodstuffs and Italian hygiene products) and Nall International (household products).

Supermarkets: there is no foreign chain in Montenegro. This market is dominated by private companies. The main chains are: Pantomarket, Carine, Mex and Voli.

Small shops: small trade is based on mini-markets organized in very small chains.

Retail Sector Organisations
Chamber of Economy Montenegro
Ministry of Economic Development

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E-commerce

Internet access
According to the Statistical Office of Montenegro, in 2017 there were 439,624 internet users in the country, making the penetration rate 69.9%. In 2017, 70.6% of households in the country had internet access, a rate that increased 0.8% in relation to previous year. Additionally, 68.9% of the population have internet access on their mobile phones. Most accommodation providers, as well as many bars and cafes, offer free wireless connections. The rate of people connected to the internet is higher in urban areas than in rural ones, with 76% of households in urban areas and 59.7% of rural households having internet access at home. In January 2018, Crnogorski Telekom (the leading telecommunications operator in the country) and the government signed the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation for Digital Montenegro, in order to improve the efficiency of digital services, with fast broadband coverage at 30 Mb/s for 100% of population and ultra-fast broadband for 50% of households by 2020. Currently, only 6.6% of internet subscribers have fast broadband access of at least 30 Mb/s, which is much lower than the European average of 27%. As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (97.33%), Yahoo! (1.58%), Bing (0.7%), and YANDEX RU (0.21%). As for browsers, the most popular ones were Chrome (73.46%), Safari (10.18%), Firefox (5.37%), Samsung Internet (4.66%), Opera (2.4%), and Android (1.36%).
E-commerce market
Due to increased consumer awareness and the demand for products, B2C sites have grown in the past few years, but 75.8% of the population have never bought goods over the internet and just 25% of businesses receive or place orders online, according to MONSTAT. In 2017, just 13% of population purchased online, according to Eurostat. The most popular goods purchased over the Internet are clothes and sports goods, with 77.7% of online shoppers having bought at least one article of that category in 2017. Holiday accommodation is the second most popular category (22%), followed by films and music (10.9%), medicines (7.5%), video games and other computer software (5.3%). Nowadays there are websites for online banking, bill settlement, consumer products and grocery shopping. Since June 2014, the most prominent online payment system in the world, PayPal has been available in Montenegro. Most people buy from EU countries or sellers from around the world, and national websites aren't very popular, with only 29.1% of online shoppers making purchases from local websites in 2017. Most users prefer buying at global web stores such as Aliexpress, Ebay, Etsy and ASOS, but some of the top local e-commerce websites in Montenegro include kaktus.me, tehnoplus.me, tornall.ru and tempo.co.me.

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Imported goods are mainly transported by road and sea.
Ports
Port of Bar
Port of Kotor
Airports
Podgorica airport
Sea Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs
Air Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs
Road Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs
Rail Transport Organisations
Railway Transport of Montenegro JSC

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Montenegro produces around 1.2 million tonnes of coal and 672,000 tonnes of bauxite each year; this contributes to the development of the aluminum industry. Metallurgy and the iron and steel industry are the sector which contributes most to GDP. The KAP company is an aluminum company, privatized in 2003, which contributes 40% to Montenegro's GDP.

Timber is also a growth industry. Woods and forests cover 54% of the country, and the government is restructuring the sector by privatizing it, as there is real potential.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Cybo - Serbia business directory
Findbiz.gr - Business directory for Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia
Serbian Business Directory - Business directory of Serbian companies
Yellow Pages - Business directory in Serbia.
 

To search directories by industry in Montenegro, check out our service Business Directories.

 
Professional Associations by Sector
41 professional associations listed for Montenegro.
 
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce (in Serbian)
General Professional Associations
Montenegrin Employers Federation (MEF)
 
 

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Latest Update: November 2022