WCO participates in “CEFTA Week 2011”

29 November 2011

WCO participates in “CEFTA Week 2011”

Paris, 22-23 November l 2011

Upon invitation of the CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement) Secretariat, a representative of the WCO Capacity Building Directorate participated in the “CEFTA Week 2011” meeting. CEFTA is composed of the following eight countries namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, UNMIK-Kosovo.

The main goal of the CEFTA Week 2011 was to demonstrate to the wide audience the economic impact the Agreement has had on the region and to discuss new challenges and perspectives of future developments. About 100 representatives including government officials, international organizations and business community shared experiences and exchanged views on enhancing cooperation, coherence and information in the delivery of trade facilitation and discussed the results of the first assessment cycle of the monitoring Framework on the elimination of non-trade barriers (NTBs) among the CEFTA countries. The assessment covered all areas of NTBs: technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, administrative barriers to trade and issues of trade facilitation.

Speakers addressed different aspects of CEFTA future development among which one of the important issues was customs. There was general consensus among participants that it is essential to ensure that customs and border procedures are implemented in a consistent, predictable, simplified and transparent manner. Further activities were identified in order to strengthen co-ordination and exchange of information between CEFTA Customs authorities and to harmonize customs procedures in the CEFTA region. The outcomes of the discussions are intended to lead to some more concrete proposals to the CEFTA joint Committee and should be taken into account in the preparation of work programmes for the CEFTA countries.