Western Balkans, Westlicher Balkan

Implementation of an Electronic Pre-Arrival Customs Clearance System

Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia are planning customs reforms with the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe and based on the German Alliance’s models in Montenegro and in Serbia.


Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia are members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement and are in close contact with their neighbors in the Western Balkans. As the current projects are based closely on the projects already completed in Montenegro and in Serbia, the four countries need only make small adjustments, and the reforms for electronic pre-arrival processing (PAP) can be implemented rapidly and efficiently.


The aim of the projects is to introduce customs clearance procedures for express consignments in cooperation with the private sector.

A jointly developed project plan determines what measures are necessary to introduce and apply PAP in the four countries. The agreed process steps are:

  1. analysis of national legal and IT frameworks for the introduction of PAP procedures in the participating countries;
  2. decision-making on the necessary changes in IT solutions and definition of the implementation framework;
  3. implementation of the new IT solution and test run involving the private sector;
  4. capacity-building measures for customs officials and companies;
  5. promotion of regional knowledge exchange;
  6. implementation of the new legal basis and procedures, as well as IT solutions.


The advantages for the companies involved are clear: the accelerated clearance of express consignments reduces both time and costs in cross-border trade. PAP enables express suppliers to meet their delivery times and improves their planning security.

Overall, the entire economy benefits from accelerated processing of time-sensitive and high-value goods. This includes but is not limited to medications, perishable goods, urgent supplies of spare parts and production goods.

The project in North Macedonia has already achieved measurable successes.

Photo credits headers: Freedomz/

Relation to the Trade Facilitation Agreement

This project contributes towards the implementation of the following article of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation:

  • Article 7.1: Release and Clearance of Goods: Pre-Arrival Processing
  • Article 7.8: Release and Clearance of Goods: Expedited Shipments

How to get involved

Do you work for a company with international supply chains? Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the project and the German Alliance.