The 20th meeting of the Subcommittee on Customs and Rules of Origin is under way, which as a structural unit of CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement) seeks to ensure simplification and acceleration of customs procedures.

The members of the Sub-committee: Customs Administration of the CEFTA Parties meet to discuss the application of the revised Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Preferential Rules (PEM Convention), as well as to consider the expansion of cumulation of origin by amending free trade agreements with the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Turkey.

The delegates at the meeting will also discuss the consequences of cumulation of origin as a result of the Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, mutual recognition of Authorized Economic Operator authorizations, advanced functions of the Systematic Electronic Exchange of Data (SEED) and will adopt a Decision on real-time data exchange.

The commitment in defining the strategic determinations and actions in the field of risk management in the next four years remains, as well as the implementation of the project for cross-border e-commerce, specific activities for a common regional market.

The in-depth review of the progress made, the current activities and challenges that are emerging and will arise in the future, included presentation of the the future steps for the extended application of the "green corridors" towards the EU borders.

The meeting is chaired by Gjoko Tanasoski, Director General of the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia. In his introductory speech he highlighted the efforts for trade facilitation in the Western Balkans, referring to the recent meeting of the Western Balkan leaders held in Sofia on 10th November as part of the Berlin Process initiative, when a Declaration of Joint regional market was adopted, thus paving the way for deepening regional economic integration and outlines the future of the EU single market.

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