Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Money & Shopping in Bosnia and Herzegovina

EuropeBosnia and HerzegovinaMoney & Shopping in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The official currency is the konvertibilna marka (BAM1.95), which has a fixed exchange rate of 1.95 for one euro (€1 = BAM1.95).

There are two sets of banknotes, one for the Federation and one for the Republic of Srpska. However, both sets are valid across the nation.

Before leaving the nation, be careful to exchange any leftover money for something more common (euros, dollars), since most other countries will not exchange this country’s “convertible marks.”

Credit cards are not commonly accepted; nevertheless, ATMs are readily accessible in most cities (VISA and Maestro). Smaller businesses may not have adequate change if you pay with BAM100 notes.

Most towns and cities will have marketplaces and fairs where a variety of artists, merchants, and dealers would sell their wares. Various meals, both fresh and prepared, as well as clothes, jewelry, and souvenirs, are easily accessible. You may bargain with the vendor in the markets, but it may take some experience. Prices for foreigners may be increased, as they are in most similar establishments, depending on a quick’means test’ performed by the vendor. Those who seem to be able to pay more are often requested to pay more.

In most cities and towns, there are huge retail malls.

Sarajevo is ideal for purchasing low-quality clothing and shoes at a reasonable price. Sarajevo’s major commercial districts are also excellent for black market items like as the newest DVDs, video games, and music CDs. Most visitors who visit Sarajevo will undoubtedly depart with a few DVDs to take home with them.

Visoko and the area of central Bosnia are widely renowned for their leather craftsmanship.

Banjaluka includes seven major shopping malls as well as numerous local shops where you may buy a wide range of products.

On the Croatian side of Mostar, there is an excellent shopping mall with some classic European-style clothing stores and jewellers.

Tax-free shopping

If you have a temporary (tourist) residence status and spend more than BAM100 on products, you are eligible to a PDV (VAT) tax return. PDV is equal to 17% of the buying price. Except for gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes, the return applies to any items purchased within three months after departure. In the store, ask for a tax-refund form (PDV-SL-2). Fill it out and get it stamped (you’ll need your ID/passport). When you leave Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian customs may validate (stamp) the form if you show them the items you purchased. Within three months, you may receive a PDV refund in Marks, either in the same store where you purchased the items (in which case the tax will be returned to you immediately), or by mailing the validated receipt back to the shop, along with the account number into which the refund should be deposited.

Be advised that if you enter another nation, you may be required to pay VAT on products exported from Bosnia. However, there is always a free sum, usually a few hundred Euros (EU: €430). Also, the border process may take some time, therefore it is not advisable to attempt this while traveling by train or bus, unless the driver agrees to wait.