An INCU Member from DHL Express, Dr Cezary Sowinski, was involved in an important trade facilitation project in Montenegro (South Eastern Europe). The project addressed the development and application of pre-arrival processing for express consignments with the objective of establishing the regulatory framework and procedural practices for clearance of express consignments in full compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
The needs of traders for expeditious clearance can no longer be met by regular customs procedures, therefore modernisation of customs procedures so as to expedite the clearance and the release were clearly trade facilitation tools which included applying pre-arrival / pre-departure clearance for express consignments, covering automatic processing of data, screening through risk management profiles and release even before actual presentation of the goods at the clearance point.
The lack of technical capacities posed a significant barrier to Montenegro’s desire to increase its facilitation of trade. In this context, a project has been set up as a joint cooperation of the Customs Administration of Montenegro, DHL Express and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), funded by the German Government. Once fully implemented the project would increase the number of express shipments being released within 1 hour of their arrival to the country from currently 25% to (at least) 65%, greatly improving the country scorecard, said by INCU Member Dr Cezary Sowinski.
The cooperation with the private sector was a key element of the project’s approach. In order to facilitate communication between private and public stakeholders by eliminating glitches in the system, DHL Express, as one of the principal operators in the express industry, was contributing during the piloting and development phase with global best practices and lessons learned from other countries.