”If they had more common border crossings and if they worked 24 hours a day, with simplified phytosanitary procedures and customs regulations, then, as a region, they would save 800m euros a year,” a Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretary General Majlinda Bregu stated at Tabanovci border crossing between Northern Macedonia and Serbia, RTCG reports.
”The Regional Cooperation Council initiated the establishment of green corridors during the blockade caused by the pandemic together with the Transport Community Secretariat, CEFTA, the European Commission and the governments of the six economies of the Western Balkans, which enabled unhindered flow of goods and medicines in the region. We started with a daily flow of 2,000 trucks, which waited in line at the border crossing for hours, even for 20 hours. You must not forget that if a truck driver wastes so much time, then he would spend 80 percent of his life at border crossings and that has an economic impact, because every minute that a truck driver is late means 2 lost euros, so calculate how much we, as a region, lose,” Bregu said.
She added that there is a flow of 13,000 trucks a day, and that number could be even higher.
”Truck drivers no longer have to wait in lines for so long and that has convinced us that whenever there is cooperation, things in the region improve. Now we need to work not only on making the 14 border crossings in the Western Balkans unique, which work 24 hours a day, including phytosanitary regulations and certificates, but also on establishing joint border crossings between the Western Balkans and EU member states,” Bregu concluded.