In 2013 the Indirect Taxation Authority initiated preparations for the implementation of the NCTS in Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of preparing all the necessary legislation, purchasing the adequate equipment and beginning to develop their own IT application. The entire project has been developed with full support from the EU through the EU-funded Twinning project ‘Improving the capacity of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of BiH’, which is funded partly from the ITA budget, and partly from the EU IPA funds. The NCTS – a new computerised transit system – is currently used by 35 countries (28 EU member states, 4 EFTA member states – Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, as well as Serbia, North Macedonia and Turkey), and all for the purpose of gradually eliminating border controls with the EU, which means saving time and border control costs, administrative procedures at border crossings and customs clearances, thus expediting and lowering the cost of movement of goods and capital.
This system allows for a full data exchange electronically, the so-called ‘paperless customs’, as well as shorter queues of trucks at border crossings and at customs offices. The NCTS project was envisaged to facilitate the movement of goods between the member states of the Convention by accelerating the cross-border flow of goods, i.e. the transition from one customs area to another, where the holders of the transit procedures – freight forwarders, will submit the TAD (Transit Accompanying Document) which includes a barcode and a unique MRN number (Movement Reference Number) without prolonged delays at border crossings.
The greatest advantage of the NCTS is the possibility to exchange messages and data electronically instead of the former procedure of declaring vehicles and goods at each border crossing. This will enable a once submitted declaration to accompany the entire transit procedure, thus making it known at any time where the goods are located. In addition to saving time for all users, the NCTS also saves a lot of money as transit costs are reduced. Currently, software for the national NCTS – New Transit Computerised System is being developed with the support from the EU Delegation in BiH EuropeAid/13845/DH/SER/BA, and legal basis is being created for the whole project to come to fruition.
It must be noted that the implementation of the NCTS at national level is the first test of capability and readiness for each potential candidate country to join full EU membership, and as such it is very important for it to be properly implemented at national level, considering that one year after being implemented at national level, BiH is going to join the Common Transit Convention where goods from BiH are sent to 35 member states, which is expected to happen in near future. One year after the implementation of the national transit system, BiH is going to join the international transit system – NCTS, i.e. the CTC Convention.