The import of food to Serbia from Macedonia and Albania has started according to the new procedure

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During the first two days of implementation of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Phytosanitary and Veterinary Inspection and Food Safety in the Western Balkans, one consignment of food from Western Macedonia and Albania entered Serbia within the Open Balkans initiative, Ivan Tomasevic, head of the Border Phytosanitary Inspection, told Tanjug.
“The agreement entered into force on January 3, and the real effects will be visible in a few days. Yesterday, we had the first two shipments of food of plant and mixed origin, which were released into the country without delay. The first shipment is fresh fruits and vegetables from Albania, which came to our customs point in Vranje, where we performed a control and allowed the import, customs clearance and continuation of transport without taking samples. The second refers to candy products and pastries from Northern Macedonia, which is also controlled at the Vranje customs office and released without laboratory analyzes,” said Tomašević.
He added that both shipments, in accordance with the Agreement, were accompanied by the necessary laboratory analyzes from the countries of origin.
“Two important things are defined by this Agreement. The first is a list of plants and long goods that require a phytosanitary certificate and where phytosanitary inspections are performed in a place not far from the border crossing, and we are doing that in Vranje and that list is defined for all three countries in the region. The second is that all shipments are accompanied by laboratory tests on food safety from the countries of origin. If the analyzes correspond to our parameters, we allow import without additional sampling, and such shipments are automatically released on our market, which means less retention at border crossings,” stated Tomašević.
He emphasized that the new procedure significantly shortens the time of keeping goods at the borders, because the goods are analyzed in the country of origin, without additional controls at the border.
“Only the laboratory analysis lasts two to three days, and with this procedure there is no more delay and the shipment can be automatically placed on the market after our control. This is very important in the case of fresh food, because it loses its quality with each hour of detention,” Tomašević emphasized.
Earlier today, the Minister of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry, Branislav Nedimović, reported that according to the new border control regime, the first three shipments of goods of animal origin from Serbia were sent to Northern Macedonia yesterday, reports Politika.