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In Implementation

Introduction of Pre-Arrival Processing for Postal and Maritime Shipments


Montenegro’s trade policy is largely determined by its membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and the accession process to the European Union. Trade facilitation is one of the top priorities in the national trade agenda. In 2018, the Montenegrin Revenue and Customs Administration successfully introduced a pre-arrival processing (PAP) procedure to facilitate customs clearance of express shipments. This reform is a result of a two-year project of the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation in cooperation with authorities and companies in Montenegro. With the new system, twice as many express shipments are being cleared within an hour of arrival compared to the times before.

Based on this success, the current project focuses on other modes of transport, where a lack of PAP is hindering trade flows. At present, there is no system in place to connect the physical flows of postal and maritime items with the corresponding electronic data flows (except for express shipments). Customs declarations still have to be submitted on paper despite the existing legal base for electronic submission and digital signature.

The joint project involves regulatory, organisational and procedural amendments to implement PAP for postal and maritime shipments. Where necessary, this includes the development and adjustment of the selected customs/border IT solutions.


The project in Montenegro focuses on the introduction of Pre-Arrival Processing (PAP) of information and data for risk assessment purposes for postal and maritime shipments.

The aim of the project is to introduce automated, paperless processing of information on goods (manifest, customs declarations and supporting documents). The information will be submitted electronically in advance prior to the arrival of shipments. This will enable customs and other border agencies to prioritise and select shipments for release before they arrive at the border. Hence, the time of customs clearance for compliant shipments will be shortened. Additionally, it is expected that the time for import customs clearance and costs of conducting paper-based procedures will be reduced. The reductions will contribute to the overall strategic goal of the National Trade Facilitation Strategy 2018-2022, thus creating more favorable business environment for cross-border trade and e-commerce.

The main project partner is the Montenegro Revenue and Customs Administration. Furthermore, the project directly and indirectly works with all other interested parties such as: Maritime Safety and Port Management Administration, Port of Bar, Post of Montenegro, relevant ministries, and other border authorities. On the private sector side the project consults relevant associations and businesses involved in postal and maritime cross border trade. This includes importers, customs agents and freight-forwarders, users of free trade zone, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies, etc.

The project is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation. All activities will be carried out in cooperation with local and international partners.


By automating import border procedures and use of digital solutions, the transparency on both sides of the trade line will increase. Moreover, the time and costs for customs clearance and release of compliant postal shipments will be reduced.

Photo credits: Kalyakan –

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 7.4: Release and Clearance of Goods: Risk Management

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.