Visit to Croatia as it prepares for EU accession

13 October 2011

Visit to Croatia as it prepares for EU accession
 
Zagreb, 10-11 October 2011
 
Report
 
At the invitation of Director General Hrvoje Čović of Croatia Customs, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Zagreb, Croatia, on 10-11 October 2011. Having just completed its negotiations for accession to the European Union scheduled for 2013, Croatia Customs continues its efforts to adapt to the evolving mission of Customs by acceding to WCO Conventions and through active participation in WCO meetings and the international Customs operations and projects supported by the WCO.

The Secretary General held discussions with the Croatia Customs management team on the progress made over the past 20 years since the country’s independence, as well as the future challenges to be faced as a modern administration called upon to support the national economy and protect citizens and society. Croatia Customs has incorporated the recommendations of the WCO diagnostic mission into its modernization plan, together with the recommendations by the EU team. It has also been assigned the necessary enforcement competence to manage borders in close cooperation with the police. In moving towards EU accession, Croatia has concluded several MoUs with other Customs administrations, including other Balkan countries.

The Secretary General also had a meeting with the President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Nadan Vidošević, and his team on the Customs-business partnership with a view to jointly improving border procedures in preparation for EU accession. Croatia plans to implement an AEO programme in 2013. The combating of corruption features high on the national agenda and the Secretary General held discussions with Minister of Finance, Ms. Martina Dalić, as to how Customs could be a showcase for good governance through the IT-supported simplification of procedures and human resource management. Croatia has invested in improving its administrative capacity and established a Customs Academy in 2005. The Secretary General also met with Vice Prime Minister, Mr. Petar Čobanković, who expressed his appreciation for Customs’ support in the EU accession negotiations by providing trade statistics, as well as its expanded cooperation with other Ministries.