The SECO-WCO GTFP officially closes its full-fledged intervention in Serbia

04 December 2023

On 22 November 2023, the SECO-WCO Global Trade Facilitation Programme (GTFP) officially closed its fully-fledged intervention in Serbia. Since the Programme’s kick-off in July 2021 and over about three years whereby the World Customs Organization (WCO) has provided invaluable technical assistance, the Customs Administration of Serbia (CAS) has shown unwavering dedication, hard work, and exceptional engagement, resulting in remarkable achievements in both trade facilitation and organizational development.

The event, encompassing the National Programme Steering Committee (NPSC) and the Closing Ceremony of the Intervention, successfully convened 50 high-level representatives from the Customs Administration, the Ministry of Trade, the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF), the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia, the private sector, and other key stakeholders.

Throughout the ceremony, the CAS proudly showcased the significant outcomes, including a 6.75% increase in risk effectiveness rates, a notable 55% rise in the number of Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs), substantial improvements in clearance procedure efficiency with a 51% and 31% decrease in release time for air and road, respectively. Additionally highlighted was the establishment of the Customs-Business Roundtable as a platform for ongoing consultation, and organizational and managerial development initiatives leading to Human Resources reform and modernization.

The ceremony concluded with a dynamic roundtable conducted by the WCO, featuring representatives from the NCTF, the CAS, and the private sector engaged in a constructive dialogue addressing ongoing challenges. The commitment to strengthened interagency collaboration, enhanced communication and coordination, and the recognition of the critical role of capacity-building initiatives in empowering national institutions and businesses to leverage trade agreements and opportunities effectively were key takeaways.

The CAS expressed profound gratitude to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of the government of Switzerland (SECO) and the WCO for their support within the SECO-WCO GTFP. The closing intervention was acknowledged as a new beginning to face emerging challenges and utilize the established foundations for continued modernization.

The Programme is pleased to celebrate the fulfilment of agreed outcomes, representing a significant stride towards enhanced trade facilitation.

For more information on the GTFP, please contact