THERE ARE NO MORE LONG LINES OF TRUCKS AT THE BORDER

The long lines of trucks and the hours of waiting at the borders are becoming a thing of the past ever since the Customs Administration introduced an electronic transit system. This software, financed by the European Union, makes it possible for all those paper transit declarations, which need to be submitted at entry or exit from the country, to be replaced by a single electronic one.

The customs officers now speak the exact same “customs language” as their European counterparts, explains Vesna Korunovska, head of the customs office in Dojran. She says that they no longer detain hauliers at border crossings, because the same customs documents are valid in all country signatories of the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure, one of which is the country.

Vesna Korunovska, head of the customs office in Dojran – “the new electronic system significantly reduces waiting times for trucks that are transporting goods”

“Our customs offices are now part of the European network of customs offices, comprising around 3000 such offices in 34 countries in Europe. Our customs offices work on the basis of the same rules as the customs administrations of the member states of the European Union, EFTA signatories and Turkey, and we mutually exchange standardised electronic messages”, says Korunovska.

The Customs Administration explains that the electronic transit declarations significantly reduce waiting times at border crossings. In the past, as many as 360,000 paper customs declarations were being submitted annually.

“When goods are being exported from the country, the submission, receipt and processing of customs transit declaration is done using advanced computer technology. The electronic system checks whether the declaration has been filled out properly, and if so, it accepts it. If not, it informs the haulage company of the changes it needs to make.”

The new computerised transit system replaced all the paper customs declarations with electronic ones

In this way, the time it takes to prepare the customs declaration is significantly reduced, so vehicles can be released much faster. When goods are imported, all the data on the vehicle and the goods is already available in the electronic system before it actually arrives here, so we know everything about that cargo and can plan and decide whether to inspect it or allow it to pass as soon as it arrives”, explains Korunovska.

Hauliers say that the most important thing for them is to not have delays at border crossings, so that they can more quickly transport goods from the country.

“The new system has made things easier, because we no longer lose time at customs, we don’t need to enter terminals, but pass through the border immediately. Except in Serbia, where this new rule doesn’t apply yet, the same document that we receive from a Greek haulage company for example, if we’re transporting from Greece to a European country, is valid for the entire journey between loading and unloading. There are no more headaches at customs”, says Dragi Zafirovski, who has been working as a haulier for 10 years.

Dragi Zafirovski has worked as a haulier for more than 10 years - “the most important thing is not have delays at borders”

He says that in the past there were times when they would be held up at one of the country’s border crossings for an entire day, which was never the case in any of the countries of the European Union.

The Director of the Customs Administration, Nataša Radeska Krstevska, says that the faster transport of goods, made possible by the new electronic transit system, has increased the competitiveness of the country’s economy.

In addition, the electronic system means greater efficiency in detecting fraud, which significantly increases safety during the conduct of transit operations.

The project “New Computerised Transit System and support for its implementation” was financed by the European Union to the tune of €3 million. The Customs Administration began implementing the system in 2011, and it is fully operational as of July 2015.



FACTS:
- The project “New Computerised Transit System and support for its implementation” was financed by the European Union with €3 million.
- The single customs procedure, which began to be implemented as of 1 July 2015, has replaced the annual 360,000 paper customs declarations with electronic declarations, which saves both time and money.
- Declarations can only be submitted electronically through the Customs Administration website, which is convenient for small-scale companies, while bigger ones can connect via their own purpose-built software.
- As of 1 July 2015, country’s customs offices are part of the European network of customs offices, comprising around 3000 such offices in 34 countries in Europe. They work on the basis of the same rules as the customs administrations of the member states of the European Union, EFTA signatories and Turkey, and they mutually exchange standardised electronic messages.

This project has been funded by the European Union

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