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PRESS RELEASE: Panel on Chapter 29: Modernized customs service will lead to safer border and facilitated trade

PRESS RELEASE: Panel on Chapter 29: Modernized customs service will lead to safer border and facilitated trade
Published date: 04.02.2019 09:49 | Author: AV

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In the area of customs policy, Montenegro has largely harmonised its legislation with the European one, and the modernization of the customs service will remain a priority this year, so that, with a greater volume of international trade and raising the standard of living, Montenegrin society would be safe, it was noted in the debate on chapter 29 - Customs Union

Today was organised a public debate, in Podgorica, on Chapter 29 and the importance of a customs union for citizens and businesses, under the EU4ME project funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP.
Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević reminded that Montenegro opened negotiations in the end of 2014 on Chapter 29 and that three final criteria for closing this chapter were defined. They are related to further harmonisation with European legislation and its application, as well as the progress achievement in the development of interconnected IT systems, which is a major challenge.
"When it comes to Montenegrin business people and entrepreneurs, removing customs barriers will give an opportunity for unhindered product placement, which will facilitate the export of domestic goods to the market of about 500 million consumers. Networking of business entities and increase of exports will positively affect the trade balance and the overall business environment in Montenegro. On the other hand, our citizens will have access to better quality products from EU countries at significantly lower prices due to increased competitiveness," Drljević added.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, reminded that the EU supports the Government of Montenegro in the demanding and expensive task of establishing effective control at the borders, through the financing of the implementation of the New Computerized Transit System (NCTS), which is the basis for the establishment of other necessary IT systems, in order to protect Montenegrin citizens, public health, the environment and cultural heritage.
He pointed out that Montenegro has achieved a lot in this area, but further progress is needed in certain areas, especially when it comes to the implementation of measures to facilitate trade and work on capacity building of customs officers and the provision of adequate staff.
Director of the Customs Administration Vladan Joković pointed out that increased volume of international trade and global threats, such as terrorism, organised crime and trade in dangerous materials, led to major changes in the roles and responsibilities of customs officers, which today represent the first line of defence against numerous criminal organisations. For this reason, the primary task of the customs services is to ensure the necessary balance between protecting society and facilitating trade, adding that the development IT system is a major challenge in this negotiating chapter, bearing in mind that a large number of financial investments will be required.
"The work on strategic projects, obligations fulfilment in the EU agenda, simplification of customs procedures, further strengthening of cooperation with the business environment and uncompromised ties with institutions in terms of strong integrity are priorities in 2019,” Joković said.
The panel on "Importance of Customs Union for Citizens and Economy" was addressed by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, prof. Nikola Milović, prof. Vladimir Savković from the Faculty of Law, Vice President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro Ljiljana Filipović, representative of the company "Stadion doo Podgorica", Snezana Terzić, as well as representatives of the customs services of Slovenia and Montenegro Jože Kavčić and Tatjana Vujisić.