“Serbia has completed everything that is needed for the use of electronic IDs and a single work permit as part of the Open Balkans initiative for citizens of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania, which is scheduled to be implemented by the end of May,” the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS) advisor Nenad Djurdjevic said.
Djurdjevic told Tanjug news agency that they are currently working on connecting Serbian system with that of North Macedonia and Albania in a single system and that they expect the first electronic ID card to be officially presented at the next summit of the three countries in Skopje in late May.
According to the latest information, the three countries have harmonized protocols on the connection of identification number schemes, which will enable citizens to access the labour markets of the three countries, and work is currently underway to create an IT system that will enable this.
Djurdjevic reminds that the relevant agreement was signed at the end of the year in Tirana and that Serbia is ready to immediately introduce the identification numbers for obtaining work permits, which will regulate the details of the stay of workers in the three countries.
“Our hope is that, come next summit, which is supposed to take place at the end of May in Skopje, the first electronic identity card will be issued under the auspices of the Open Balkans initiative, thanks to which every citizen from the three countries can obtain an ID number at a designated website which would allow them to work in Serbia or North Macedonia or Albania,” Djurdjevic explains.
In terms of the activities to facilitate trade between these three countries, Djurdjevic said that the goal is to reduce delays at border crossings as much as possible and that the Serbian side has already done several things, like moving the veterinary inspection to the customs checkpoint in Vranje, which is designated only for trucks.
Another solution, he explained, is to give advance notice by e-mail of the arrival of goods, so as to speed up the procedures required for trucks to cross the border.
“We are currently working on setting up a system that will allow, hopefully by June, an automatic exchange of phytosanitary certificates from the three countries, but also for all members of the CEFTA system. When the truck leaves the place of departure, all the documents accompanying the consignment are integrated via the computer system and the recipient already knows what the goods are and their quality. If the goods are considered risky, they will have to be inspected. If not, the entire procedure is expedited,” Djurdjevic adds.
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