All CEFTA economies continuously work on the implementation of adopted recommendations that facilitate and speed up customs procedures and deliveries of shipments traded electronically (e-commerce). After the adoption of recommendations by all the CEFTA Parties in January 2023, an Action Plan was created and presented to all participants in Sarajevo, during a two-day workshop on the topic of establishing electronic sharing of information on e-commerce shipments between Customs and Postal Operators.
The participants of the two-day workshop, representatives of the Customs Administrations and Postal Operators from all seven CEFTA economies, agreed that the rapid growth in the number of e-commerce shipments has not bypassed the Western Balkans region, as well as that there is great potential for growth that must be accompanied by the improvement of the regulatory framework for e – commerce. They shared experiences in the field of mutual cooperation between these institutions, as well as ways to jointly improve procedures in postal traffic.
Aida Bejtula, from GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-Eastern Europe – Foreign Trade, emphasized that the greatest importance of this workshop is the fact that the Customs and Postal Operators of all CEFTA members gathered for the first time and discussed the simplification of customs procedures related to e-commerce, showing great desire for change. “Start of the pilot projects that we announced at the bilateral level will enable overcoming the challenges specific to each individual market, which will ultimately accelerate e-commerce and bring CEFTA closer to EU trends,” she said.
Danijela Gačević from the CEFTA Secretariat assessed that the acceleration and facilitation of electronic shipment procedures will unequivocally contribute to the additional growth of this market and the additional increase in the volume of trade in the CEFTA economies. In this context, she pointed out that the workshop contributed to the understanding on the need for establishing of electronic sharing of information between Customs and Postal Operators in e-commerce within CEFTA.
During the workshop, representatives of the Customs of the Republic of Slovenia, Universal Postal Union (UPU) and EURORA presented the best practice examples and models of electronic sharing of information about shipments in the EU, which gave Customs and Postal Operators a better insight into the direction in which the CEFTA markets will move.
The workshop was organized within project “Support to Regional Economic Integration”, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with the financial support of the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).