The Green Corridors/ Green Lanes were established at the dawn of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to prevent shortages of essential goods and medical equipment. Launch of the initiative has proven to be one of the most successful examples of regional cooperation, managing to preserve trade flows, not only for the economic benefits, but also for effective fight against the pandemic. It was made possible with a strong regional commitment, streamlined coordination done by the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat, Regional Cooperation Council and CEFTA through countless meetings and coordination efforts, finalized by endorsing the Joint proposal of the CEFTA Secretariat and the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community to facilitate the transport and trade of goods of first necessity within the Western Balkans at the highest political level. At the Sofia Summit held in November 2020, the Leaders of the Western Balkans expressed their support to extend Green Corridor and Green Lanes to all BCP/CCPs in Western Balkans and with the neighbouring EU Member States.
A year after launching the initiative, the Green Corridors/Lanes has been extended to all road intra CEFTA BCPs/CCPs and three rail BCPs/CCPs. The traders carrying essential goods have priority passage throughout the Western Balkans. The extended concept contributes to reducing waiting times at the BCPs/CCPs, and ultimately reducing the transport and trade costs for all businesses. CEFTA provided electronic exchange of pre-arrival information through the CEFTA SEED (Systematic Exchange of Electronic Data) on goods of first necessity between customs administrations and other agencies involved in clearance of goods, which allows announcing consignments of the essential goods in advance. This system enables customs and phytosanitary, veterinary, and food inspections to plan their recourses at BCPs/CCPs, perform documentary checks in advance and prioritize passage of trucks carrying essential goods. Overview of data is available on CEFTA Regional Statistics.
Extension of the Green Corridors/ Green Lanes to the crossings with the neighbouring EU Member States is ongoing activity.