cDespite the COVID-19 pandemic, medical supplies, food and animal feed travelled across the region more easily, reassuring businesses that the trade flows will remain uninterrupted. Over the past year, priority passage and simplified procedures have been used by 600 292 trucks.
CEFTA enabled electronic exchange of pre-arrival information between the administrations within CEFTA through the System of Electronic Exchange of Data (SEED), thanks to the support of the European Commission. The SEED ensures that information about the arrival of priority consignments are sent in advance to all agencies involved in clearance of goods, providing more time for documentary check and thus relieving the burden the agencies often cope with and decreasing the waiting time for the traders. Green Lanes supported the Western Balkans in preserving the trade and economic activities, having a positive impact on disrupted trade flows during the pandemic.
“This initiative changed the perspective of the regional cooperation and showed its strength. Just in few weeks, the entire system has been set up, including the hundreds of actors from the public institutions, business sector and regional organizations that worked as one entity. We mobilized all the capacities at the “green” crossing points, enabling trade to revive. 80% out of all trucks used Green Corridors and almost half of million trucks benefited from priority passage and simplified procedures in past year, which had an impact on decreasing the trade costs.” stated Director of the CEFTA Secretariat Emir Djikic.
CEFTA Parties and the regional partners are now working on extending the Green Lanes to all crossing points in CEFTA, and extending the cooperation between the CEFTA Parties with the neighboring EU Member States, aiming to decrease the waiting time at the crossing points by at least 30%.
The Green Corridors/Green Lanes initiative implementation started on 13 April 2020 at the designated crossing points in the Western Balkans, providing all required services 24/7. Overview of data is available on https://statistics.cefta.int/green-corridors.