The new Rulebook on Vehicle Registration passed by Vojin Mitrović, former Minister of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), is out of force. It was put out of the force by Nedžad Branković, the deputy minister.
The vehicle registration procedure will now be conducted in line with the previous rules. This means that the RFID sticker, which would contain all the information about the vehicle, owner, and technical inspections, will not replace the previously used validation stickers.
Branković told the CIN journalists that the Ministry will immediately start preparing the new rulebook in cooperation with the authorities responsible for internal affairs and all institutions involved in the registration process.
When asked whether new levies will be introduced for drivers, Branković said: “The very fact that RFID is not going to be introduced means that there will be no price increase”.
As a state minister, he was not willing to talk but now that he is appointed Minister of Economy and Entrepreneurship in the RS Government, Mitrović decided to talk to journalists: “Branković took the liberty of repealing the Rulebook, even though we were going to harmonize, edit and amend it.”
He added that he did not work on writing the controversial regulation, but only signed it: “It was prepared by experts within the Ministry, and certainly there were some shortcomings or perhaps vagueness.”
However, Mitrović’s associates told journalists that they did not even know that the Rulebook had been adopted. They claim to have learned about it only after it was published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In August 2022, CIN wrote that drivers would be paying more for vehicle registration due to the regulation that favored private businessmen. Under the then Rulebook, the Ministry stipulated that the procurement of validation stickers could be entrusted to a private company or a professional institution. The new rules had also anticipated a higher price of stickers. Instead of the current BAM 5, they would cost BAM 9. While these funds were earlier paid to the budget of BiH, Minister Mitrović provided that the funds could be paid to a private company to which the Ministry awards a contract. In this case, such a company would collect at least BAM ten million per year from drivers.
“If this was meant to favor someone, it would not have been published, but a tender would have been announced. In this case, there was no tender or anything, and why say right away that someone was favored, because neither tender nor tender documentation was the subject of conversation”, Mitrović said.
He denies prescribing by the Rulebook that the money from stickers would go to private businessmen, but to professional institutions. However, the Rulebook clearly specified that the professional institutions are actually private companies that the Ministry would authorize through a public tender to procure, distribute and personalize stickers, and that the drivers would pay them to the selected company.
“I disagree”, said Mitrović shortly.
After the publication of the Rulebook, a large number of institutions responsible for its implementation addressed the Ministry of Communications and Transport of BiH, pointing to the unenforceability and unlawfulness of certain provisions. Accordingly, the Administrative Inspectorate of the BiH Ministry of Justice carried out an inspection, which determined that the Rulebook was passed in violation of the law and procedures. The inspectors then ordered that the Rulebook be amended.
The Agency for the Protection of Personal Data in Bosnia and Herzegovina also reacted, ordering the Ministry to delete the provisions that stipulate the processing of the unique identification number of vehicle owners and users in the registration certificate and the vehicle ownership certificate, as well as the provisions on the unique information system for stickers and records of vehicles.
In mid-September 2022, Transparency International in BiH (TIBiH) filed a criminal complaint against Minister Mitrović. TIBiH holds that by adopting the new Rulebook on vehicle registration against the laws and established procedures, Minister Mitrović abused his office and powers.
Mitrović did not want to talk about the new Rulebook: “I am no longer in the office I held. I really would not like to comment on what the Council of Ministers will do or not do.”