Today, at the border crossing point Preshevo , the Directors of the Customs Administrations of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mrs. Slavica Kutirov and the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Branko Radujko, signed a Protocol for Mutual Recognition of the AEO Authorisations.

The signing of the protocol emerged from the conclusions of the ministerial meeting held within the framework of the Open Balkans initiative on November 13-14 in Nis.

With the signing of this Protocol, the Customs Administrations of the two countries undertook to mutually recognize the process of validation of authorizations for Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), conducted within CEFTA, a process that began in May 2019 and ended in January this year.

With this, the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia became the first countries in the region of the Western Balkans, which will mutually start with operational application of the procedures and the benefits obtained by the AEO authorization holders.

This Protocol covers 34 companies from the Republic of Serbia and 21 companies from the Republic of North Macedonia. These companies will be able to officially use the benefits in the implementation of customs procedures in both countries in December as a pilot, and from January 2022 officially, based on the same rules and criteria, i.e. will benefit from:

• Reduced physical and documentary controls during the implementation of customs procedures,

• Notification for control in case a shipment is selected for physical control,

• Priority in conducting physical and documentary controls in case they are selected for control,

• Possibility to choose a place for conducting control, outside the place of the customs authority

• Priority when crossing border crossings

This Protocol for mutual recognition of AEO should contribute to easier movement of goods between the two countries and reduce the costs for export and import of the holders of these authorizations.

Other areas of common interest were also discussed at the meeting, and the activities which arose within the Open Balkans initiative and are ongoing.




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