SEED+ system in service of an efficient customs cooperation
7 July 2023 – The very first CEFTA-Transport Community Green Lanes with the EU (Greece) mark the first year of implementation. This initiative, made possible through the SEED+ System for Electronic Exchange of Data, has been reshaping customs cooperation and accelerating trade between CEFTA and EU.
The SEED+ system, fully funded by the EU, facilitates secure and efficient data exchange among customs administrations, improving risk analyses and significantly reducing waiting times and costs. Its flexibility and adaptability ensures seamless trade and minimizes administrative burdens.
„The Green Lanes initiative shows the commitment of CEFTA and the EU to promoting trade and building closer economic ties between them. It has not only proven its effectiveness but has also laid the foundation for future enhanced cooperation, fostering stronger connectivity between the CEFTA and EU. By optimising customs processes and ensuring efficient border management, the initiative supports businesses to expand their markets and at lower costs.“ stated Danijela Gacevic, Acting Director of the CEFTA Secretariat.
“The Customs Administration of Republic of North Macedonia is strongly committed to the trade facilitation in every aspect, thus increasing the competitiveness of the trade companies on the international market, while at the same time ensuring the effectiveness and security of the border management. The establishment of the Green Lanes within CEFTA and the expansion of this initiative toward the EU Member States that began with establishing electronic exchange of data between our country and Greece in July 2022, supports transparency and predictability of supply chains, laying a solid foundation for future integration of the CEFTA Parties with EU.” stated Stefan Bogoev, Director General of the Customs Administration of Republic of North Macedonia.
“We consider our participation in the Green Lanes initiative of significant importance. Our cooperation with CEFTA-Transport Community and the Customs Administration of North Macedonia was beneficial to us all, as it affected many issues of cross-border trade. SEED+ is a tool with added value in improving trade facilitation, while ensuring more effective controls.” stated George J. Pitsilis, Governor of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue of the Hellenic Republic.
„The first year of implementing the Green Lanes with the EU has been a significant milestone for connectivity and transport in the region. This initiative has brought economies closer, streamlining border procedures and reducing waiting times. The success of these Green Lanes highlights their importance in enhancing connectivity, facilitating trade flows, and strengthening regional integration. As we continue to build upon this achievement, we look forward to further improving transport links and fostering closer economic relations with our EU partners.“ said Matej Zakonjsek Director of Transport Community Permanent Secretariat.
Data collected through the first year of the initiative with Greece will serve as a baseline for future analyses. The Green Lanes within CEFTA have shown that the waiting times in first half of 2023 has decreased on average by 10 minutes per truck, resulting in a total saving of 5,459 days comparing to the data in 2022.
Memorandum of understanding on data exchange was signed between the customs administrations of North Macedonia and Greece in July 2022, followed by the Memoranda of Understanding between the customs administrations of Albania, Italy and Montenegro signed in September 2022 and Memoranda of Understanding between the customs administrations of Albania, Croatia and Montenegro. Established cooperation serves as basis for all future transport and trade from all CEFTA Parties to the EU Member States.