Following the provisions of the CEFTA Agreement to strengthen the trade relations in line with the rules and disciplines of the WTO and the EU alignment process, the CEFTA Parties agreed to further facilitate the trade.
The CEFTA recognition programmes, promoting trade and facilitating market access, are grounded in Additional Protocol 5.
In accordance with this Protocol and its Annexes, the CEFTA Parties agreed that they will:
- simplify inspections related to all clearance procedures and reduce formalities to the possible maximum extent
- facilitate the recognition of goods as a means of facilitating trade
- prevent avoidable loss or deterioration of perishable goods, provided that all regulatory requirements have been met.
When it comes to trade in agricultural products, the Parties decided to simplify and facilitate procedures for trade in fruit and vegetables by adopting the Decision No.1/2020 on Facilitating Trade for Fruits and Vegetables on February 2020.
The objective of this Decision is to achieve facilitation of trade among them, by simplifying inspections related to all clearance procedures for trade in fruit and vegetables (using of risk-based inspection methods and through the recognition of certificates), establishing a data and notification system, recognizing the professional operators registered, establishing a common CEFTA List of Fruit and Vegetables for which Phytosanitary Certificates are mandatory.
The Decision imposes a number of specific tasks on the CEFTA Parties, related to effective implementation of the system of official controls with the aim to facilitate trade of fruit and vegetables. Those tasks include:
- internal plant health, food safety and quality checks
- import controls
- export certification.
In addition, the Decision provides obligations related to registration of certain operators (principally exporters and importers), traceability, and collection of fees and charges, specifies a number of official controls to be carried out by the Parties in relation to their domestic production of fruit and vegetables as well as monitoring of imports of those producers.
The Decision also prescribed issues related with programmes that are carried out in the CEFTA Parties, such as programme for pesticide residues control, programme for plant health control, programme for contaminants control, programme for quality control.