Tanasoski: We remain committed to implementing WTO standards and creating better conditions in customs operations and cross-border trade

Skopje, 22.10.2019 – A three-day PICARD conference of the World Customs Administration started today, organized by the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia. The conference was opened by the President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev, who stated in his speech that the Government decided to move forward in cooperation with its neighbors and with all countries. It accepted the benefits of free trade, and instead of taking control, the Government is supporting the view that international inclusiveness is much stronger than standing aside. The Prime Minister also pointed out that the modernization of the Customs Administration should contribute to the development of foreign trade climate. He announced that as of 1 January 2020 the export operations will be completely paperless, and joint customs controls with Serbia and soon with Albania will contribute to greater integration of the Macedonian economy.

"Over the past three years we were able to finalize several major projects in various fields, which have led to enormous progress and modernization in customs operations. The results we have achieved show that with great enthusiasm, dedication and confidence in our own capacities, the goals and priorities set are achieved. The Customs Administration together with the Ministry of Finance and the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia remain fully committed to the adoption and application of the WCO instruments and standards in order to create better conditions for customs operations and cross-border trade”, said Customs Director General Gjoko Tanasoski in his address.

The greatest achievement of the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia is digitization, creating conditions for paperless customs operations. The concept of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) has also been introduced, providing a legal basis for the international acceptance and recognition of AEO regionally. A joint ONE STOP SHOP border crossing point has been established at the Tabanovce-Preshevo border crossing point with Serbia, which significantly reduced the time and cost for border formalities.

Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuria and Anna Cho - Director of the Korean Customs Service had opening remarks at the start of the PICARD Conference.

It is important for the Customs Administration, policy makers and researchers to come together and discuss the future of Customs, the application of technology in this area to improve business conditions and to protect society. To that end, e-commerce, i.e. the use of data in the private sector and the analysis of Customs data will be discussed in order to support the country's openness and its integration into the global system of Customs and Trade, said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuria.

Anna Cho, Director of the Korean Customs Service, sincerely congratulated the organization of the 14th PICARD Conference of the World Customs Organization in the Republic of North Macedonia, the land of Mother Teresa. She stressed that nowadays the customs authorities have to respond to the complex trading environment caused by the increase in trade between multinational corporations and, inter alia, the surge in cross-border trade through e-commerce. However, these and other difficulties cannot be solved by each country separately. Therefore, at this conference, there will be presentations and discussions on topics such as data analysis, cross-border e-commerce, border co-operation and coordination, which are of primary interest to customs.

PICARD is a partnership in customs research and development, bringing together customs administrations and universities around the world. This year's 14th conference topic was "Smart Borders for Smooth Trade, Travel and Transport", and is held at the Hilton Hotel within 22 – 24 October 2019. The conference is organized by the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia, in cooperation with the Faculty of Economics at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, with the support of the World Customs Organization and the Korean Customs. It is attended by around 150 representatives from 60 countries of the world, representatives of customs administrations, the World Bank, the European Commission, the academic community, as well as think-tanks and private sector representatives.



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