Jahorina, 17 December 2020 – “CEFTA in pandemics: Achievements and Challenges” was the title of today’s hybrid Conference opened in Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the end of CEFTA Week 2020.

This closing event followed several days of meetings and discussions on virtual platforms and was an opportunity to summarize the achievements during 2020.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chairmanship of the CEFTA was marked by two great achievements: maintaining and facilitating trade in the face of pandemics of COVID-19 and adoption of the Common Regional Market.

 Minister Stasa Kosarac (Photo: Jasmin Agovic)

Opening the Conference, Mr. Stasa Kosarac, Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations said that this was a significant event because BiH had successfully completed its presidency of CEFTA in very complex circumstances.

“This conference is being held to show our synergy for working together on common goals, leaving disagreements and trade barriers aside. Today I invite you to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and what it takes to do together to deepen to deepen our economic integration. By reacting quickly to trade disruptions earlier this year, we have already shown that we can adopt effective joint measures. Trade benefits are certainly vital, but they only include economic effects – and that’s only part of the big picture. Trade also connects us with the region and the rest of the world. In addition, precisely because of the close and stable relations encouraged by trade, we can enjoy much more peaceful relations. Trade also encourages the competitiveness of each of the companies on the market, and thus strengthens each of the economies that participate in CEFTA”, said Minister Košarac.

In reaction to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus across the European continent, the CEFTA Parties have adopted restrictive measures prioritizing the health and safety of their citizens, which also included restricted movement of people and goods. However, to minimize negative economic impact, guarantee open channels of trade, and secure supply of essential goods, such as medical supply, food, and feed, the CEFTA Parties have agreed on the establishment of the Green Corridors and the Green Lanes, based on the joint proposal from Transport Community and CEFTA.

 Director of the CEFTA Secretariat Emir Djikic (Photo: Jasmin Agovic)

The Director of CEFTA Secretariat Emir Djikic said that since the establishment of the initiative, almost half a million trucks have used the benefits of green corridors, and 20% of that benefit green lanes (trucks transporting essential goods).

He also pointed out the importance of a 4-year plan for the establishment of a Common Regional Market adopted by Western Balkans leaders in the Sofia Summit in November 2020.

“CEFTA will play an important role by providing legal, policy and institutional framework for rolling out this agenda”, Djikic added.

The main priorities in future will be to cut the waiting time by at least 30% at crossing points by, inter alia, extending the Green Corridors and Lanes to the BCPs/CCPs with the EU and adapting them to the regular environment not dominated by pandemics. Furthermore, it will seek to establish mutual recognition of documents important for placing products and services on the regional markets, decrease time and cost of regional e-commerce and extend cooperation in CEFTA to new areas such as intellectual property and consumer protection.

Several important achievements in 2020 are:

  • Progress of the implementation of Additional Protocol 5 on Trade Facilitation by entering into force of the Decision on mutual recognition of the Authorized Economic Operators type S.
  • Adoption of the landmark Decision facilitating trade in fruit and vegetables.
  • The application of CEFTA Customs Risk Management Strategy has progressed in 2020.
  • Ratification of the Additional Protocol 6 on Trade in Services, that will enter into force beginning of 2021. This will bring even closer the services markets in CEFTA and enable more opportunities for businesses and citizens.
  • CEFTA Roadmap on electronic commerce endorsed in June and facilitation of trade in tourism services based on discussions launched in December.
  • Policymakers and businesses will benefit from the information provided by the Service Regulatory Database, a new addition in CEFTA Transparency Pack.
  • Launching of CEFTA Binding Tariff Information (BTI) database – a regional platform that aggregates all the information related to the Advance Rulings (the tariff description and classification) from the CEFTA, and
  • Official negotiations on improving mechanism for resolving disputes between Parties launched.

Three panel discussions titled “Regional Economic Cooperation: Milestone of the region’s response to COVID-19 and path for a lasting economic recovery”, “CEFTA Mutual recognition programs: Potential for boosting the trade in CEFTA” and “E-commerce: Pathway to the economic recovery of the CEFTA region” were an opportunity to discuss trade implications of pandemics for the CEFTA Parties and possibilities for supporting and accelerating the recovery of the CEFTA region. Panelists also exchanged views on mutual recognition programs (MRP) and opportunities for boosting the trade in CEFTA, considering the impact of a digital revolution and the benefits of e-commerce.

CEFTA Conference was supported by the EU Project EU4Trade.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Cookie Information

CEFTA Secretariat
Rue de la Loi, 42 / boîte 10
B-1040 Bruxelles / Brussels

Tel +32 2 229 10 11
Fax +32 2 229 10 19
Email: cefta@cefta.int

I. Introduction
When you visit our website, information relating to the pages you look at may be saved in files called “cookies”, which are stored on the device that is used to access the site. This page explains what cookies are, what they are used for and how you can adjust your settings to manage cookies.

II. What is a cookie?
Cookies are text files that that may – depending on your settings – be stored on the hard drive of your device (be it a computer, a tablet, a mobile phone or any other device that can access the internet) when you visit a website or click on an advertisement. Cookies are managed by your internet browser, and only the issuer of a cookie can read or amend the information contained in it. Cookies are used to identify the device on which they are saved and are operational for a limited period of time.

III. What are the cookies issued by our site used for?
There are three different types of cookie that may be saved on your device while browsing our site. The intended purpose of each of these types of cookie is described below.

1. Technical cookies
Technical cookies are necessary to browse our site and access the various products and services that are available. They are used to:
• optimise the presentation of the website in line with your device’s display preferences (language used, screen resolution, operating system, etc.);
• allow you to access personal areas (such as your user account or content that is reserved for you) on the basis of the information that you provided when creating your account;
• remember some information relating to forms that you have filled in on our website;
• compile statistics measuring visits to and use of our site;
• implement certain security measures.

These cookies must not be deactivated. If they are, you will have problems accessing the site and its services.

2. Audience-measuring cookies
Audience-measuring cookies are issued by us and/or our technical service providers in order to measure the number of people accessing our various types of content. These cookies are also used to identify any potential navigation problems and thus improve the website’s usability. These cookies produce only anonymised statistics and do not provide information on individual visitors.

3. Social media and partners cookies
Social media and partners cookies allow you to share our site’s content with other people or tell people what you think about content on the site. A number of sharing buttons are integrated into our site using third-party applications that could issue this type of cookie. This is true, for example, of Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons, as well as the “Twitter”, “Google+”, “YouTube” and “Instagram” buttons. The social network providing the button in question may be able to use that button application to identify you, even if you do not click on the relevant button while visiting our site. Indeed, that type of button application may allow the relevant social network to see your browsing activity on our site if your account with that social network is active on your device (i.e. an open session) while you are browsing our site. We suggest that you consult the privacy policies of those social networks to see what browsing information acquired via such button applications is ultimately used for (as regards advertising, for example). Those privacy policies should allow you to indicate your wishes to the relevant social network in respect of cookies, notably by adjusting the settings on your user account.

IV. Your options regarding cookies
1. Acceptance or blocking of cookies
By using our site, you consent to the use of the above-mentioned cookies. However, you can choose to deactivate some or all of those cookies at any time (with the exception of technical cookies necessary for the functioning of the site) by following the instructions below. You can accept or block cookies on a case-by-case basis, or you can block all cookies. Please note, however, that changing your settings in this way may affect your access to content and services on our site that require the use of cookies. We suggest, therefore, that you adjust the settings on your browser on the basis of the intended purpose of the various cookies. We will not accept any responsibility for any consequences relating to improper functioning of our services where it results from our inability to save or consult cookies necessary for the functioning of those services and you have blocked or deleted those cookies. If you consent to the saving of cookies contained in content that you have accessed, those cookies will be stored temporarily in a dedicated location on your device. Only the issuer of those cookies will be able to read them. Please note that you can also adjust the settings on your browser such that it indicates the cookies that are being stored on your device and asks you whether you want to accept them.

2. Adjusting your settings on different browsers
When it comes to the management of cookies, each browser is set up in a different way. This will be covered by your browser’s help menu, which will tell you how to adjust your cookie settings. Click on the relevant link below to access detailed information regarding cookie settings:
• Microsoft Internet Explorer
• Google Chrome
• Safari
• Firefox

3. Other ways of blocking cookies
Depending on the type of cookie, there are other ways of managing cookies that do not involve adjusting your browser’s settings.

a. Blocking audience-measuring cookies
Audience-measuring cookies have been placed on our site by Google Analytics. You can block these specific cookies by clicking on the deactivation link below, downloading the add-on and installing it on your browser. This add-on is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 to 11, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

Google Analytics deactivation link: Deactivate Google Analytics

Please note that the add-on will save a cookie on your device, but that cookie will be used only to prevent your browser from transmitting data to Google Analytics.

For more information on deactivating Google Analytics and installing the browser add-on, click here: Browser add-on to deactivate Google Analytics

For more information on Google Analytics’ privacy policy, click here: Safeguarding your data

b. Blocking social network cookies
To block cookies used by social networks (e.g. via sharing buttons), follow the instructions in the links below:
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Google+ and YouTube