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North Macedonia And Serbia Accelerate Border Procedures with New Protocol

In a significant move to streamline cross-border traffic, Serbia and North Macedonia have signed a protocol expediting customs processes along their mutual border. 

The agreement, formalized in Nis, is set to substantially quicken the pace of goods and people moving through the Preševo-Tabanovce crossing, potentially doubling the throughput of freight vehicles.

Effective from 1 February, this protocol marks a pivotal step in the Open Balkan initiative, as noted by Branko Radujko, Director of the Serbian Customs Administration. “This will considerably speed up the movement of goods and customs procedures, whilst also cutting down on the external trade expenses for businesses, reinforcing our dedication to enhancing the economic competitiveness within the Open Balkan region,” he stated upon signing the document.

Echoing these sentiments, Stefan Bogoev of the North Macedonian Customs Administration underscored the initiative’s broader implications. A key aspect is the mutual recognition of freight vehicle measurement certificates between the customs authorities of both nations, ensuring that freight vehicles need not undergo re-measurement upon entering either country.

The streamlined process involves mere record-keeping of goods’ entry and exit at the North Macedonian border. This procedure is accompanied by the requirement of an export declaration and a verified weighing certificate, bearing the stamp of the export country’s customs authority.

Furthermore, a dedicated ‘Open Balkan and Transit’ lane at the Preševo-Tabanovce border will be established for cargoes with a stamped weighing certificate and a transit accompanying document with an MRN for the common transit procedure – T1. This priority lane is available to all transporters, exporters, or importers registered in any Open Balkan initiative member country, as well as to all Authorized Economic Operator status holders from these nations, symbolizing a tangible stride towards more efficient regional commerce.

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