Several important technical agreements have been achieved regarding the implementation of the Decision on Facilitating Trade for Fruit and Vegetables, which enables easier and faster trade in fruit and vegetables between the CEFTA economies. Agreements have been reached at the regional meeting organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), through the EU-funded project “Support to Regional Economic Integration”, held in Budva.
Representatives of the administrations in charge of the food safety and plant health policies from each CEFTA Party showed a high level of common understanding of how to progress towards the effective implementation of the Decision. Decision facilitates the system of controls for trade in fruit and vegetables within the CEFTA economies, and its full implementation enables reduced waiting times at the crossing points, and faster and cost – effective delivery of the products to customers throughout CEFTA.
Since the implementation of the Decision supports harmonization of rules regulating production and trade of fruit and vegetables the project supported harmonization of surveillance programme which contributed that the Parties have for the first-time comprehensive results on pest status in relation to regulated pests of fruit and vegetables. Results of the survey were presented and discussed at the meeting. Also, a Common List of fruits and vegetables subject to phytosanitary certificate was agreed. Participants also defined the most efficient approaches for the elaboration of pest-specific contingency plans and reduced frequency for import controls.
Tanja Bošković, Project Manager, GIZ: “The implementation of the agreed CEFTA Decision on facilitating trade for fruit and vegetables, which is fully aligned with the relevant EU regulations, is steadily progressing. The agreements reached in these two days are very important to further facilitate movement of goods across CEFTA with application of a more targeted, risk-based controls and to minimise or eliminate controls for safe and healthy goods”. The further improvement requires intensive and sustained efforts by all parties as even multi-speed adoption of EU regulations may create additional obstacles for intra-CEFTA trade, she emphasized.
Jerome Benausse from DG Near highlighted the working groups achievements, with support from the project team, and how they benefit to producers and consumers within CEFTA markets. Concrete and significant results have already been delivered as part of the project, in particular the elaboration of common list of fruits and vegetables requiring phytosanitary certificates, crop-based surveys, pest surveys, and pest specific contingency plans. A common approach to food safety will further strengthen the capacity of the CEFTA economies to provide adequate trade surveillance while efforts take place in parallel to improve their competitiveness.
Danijela Gacevic, Senior Technical Expert, CEFTA Secretariat stated “Agriculture remains one of the driving forces of economic growth of the CEFTA Parties. We stay committed to implementation of the Decision on Facilitating Trade for Fruit and Vegetables, with the aim to support the Parties to streamline the systems enabling them to advance plant health and food safety standards and improve managing of risks, while accelerating movement of goods and thereby making trade procedures simpler and cheaper. Therefore, we find the support receiving from the GIZ very important.”
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned by the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to implement the project “Support to Regional Economic Integration”. The project aims to provide support to the CEFTA Structures in their efforts to further deepen economic integration and alignment with the EU acquis. In the area of “Mutual recognition programmes (MRPs)”, the project will provide support to the CEFTA Structures to implement the provisions of the Decision on Facilitating Trade (FT) for Fruit and Vegetables (FV).
GIZ Open Regional Fund for South – East Europe – Foreign Trade (ORF FT)