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Jul 15

Enhancing Efficiency of Joint Border Controls at Kjafsan – Qafe Thane Border Crossing Between North Macedonia and Albania

July 15, 2021 @ 6:00 am - 9:00 am EDT

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Event Information

The customs authorities of North Macedonia and Albania will speak about their efforts to facilitate trade, to establish single border stop at this border crossing, to expedite the time to move goods across the border and improve the mutual economic cooperation at the Kjafasan – Qafe Thane border crossing. The US ambassadors both from North Macedonia and Albania will speak during the event.

The USAID E&E Bureau has partnered with the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia through the regional Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) Project and awarded a grant for enhancing the efficiency of joint controls at the border crossing point Kjafasan – Qafe Thane between North Macedonia and Albania. The objective of this grant is to strengthen the capacity of customs and border agencies of North Macedonia and Albania to establish a joint border crossing point and perform joint controls at the border crossing point Kjafasan – Qafe Thane, in line with international standards and best practices and to enhance trade and transport facilitation and cross-border cooperation. USAID provided $100,000 that was leveraged with $211,170 contribution from the Customs Administration of North Macedonia, bringing the value of the efforts it to a total of $311,170. The tools and equipment for customs and border controls consists of hand tool kits and specific non-intrusive equipment for controls such as mobile scanner, density meters -– boosters, and Go Pro cameras and it is delivered to and operated by the customs authorities of both countries. The initiative also consists of provision of expert advice for implementation of specific long-term measures necessary for improving the efficiency of the joint border controls in line with best EU and global practices. Organizing study visits for the North Macedonia and Albania customs staff to familiarize with the process of establishment, management and operation of border crossing points with joint border controls, and with the best practices of the operation of Border Control Points at external EU land borders are also planned. The study visits will be organized once traveling abroad is normalized. ConcurrentlyThe grant is part of the larger effort supported by the, USAID EDGE Project supports the overall process offor the establishment of single stop joint border crossing points between North Macedonia and Albania that will significantly reduce the time for movement of goods across the border. In line with their objectives to facilitate trade and improve the mutual cooperation, the Governments of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania have expressed interest and commitment to establishing joint border crossing points along their shared border, starting with the largest border crossing at Kjafasan – Qafe Thane. To put in place the legal framework for this initiative, in the course of 2020 the two countries worked on negotiating and drafting the bilateral Framework Agreement on Joint Border Crossing Points. The draft text of the Framework Agreement was finalized recently and the next step will include signing by the relevant authorities. Once the Framework Agreement is signed and ratified in both countries, they will proceed by drafting separate Protocol(s) that will specifically regulate the process of introduction of joint controls at the Kjafasan – Qafe Thane border crossing.

A link for the event will be updated shortly.