Three pilot validation missions were organized under the project in September and October 2018 in Moldova (Sept 5-7), North Macedonia (Sept 18-21) and Serbia (Oct 2-5). Following the preparation workshop organized in Budva in July, three teams of validators visited the three CEFTA Parties and reviewed the AEO program, AEO organization and AEO processes of the respective CEFTA parties.
The main purpose of the visits was to validate the program content, the authorization process in design and implementation of the national AEO program, as well as to validate the operational execution of the AEO program. Beside reviewing documentation and practice regarding the implementation of AEO program in the pilot parties, the validators also had an opportunity to visit AEO accredited companies or AEO applicant companies in the pilot parties.
The overall objective of the pilot exercise is to simulate the validation missions which will take place upon application of each CEFTA party for mutual recognition of AEO’s within CEFTA, as prescribed by the CEFTA Additional Protocol 5 (AP5). Based on this experience, the CEFTA Mutual Recognition Guidelines were developed, precisely defining the validation process, steps and roles of validators. In addition, a draft Decision on validation procedure has been elaborated.
The project envisioned four pilot validations in total. The fourth validation mission will be conducted in 2019 in one of the remaining CEFTA parties.