Jetzt wird u.a. das Barcode System in Albanien eingeführt, was enorm die Exporte erleichtern dürfte. Importe in die EU sind seit einem Jahr bekanntlich von jeden Zoll befreit!

EU to help boost Albanian export capacity


Albania seeks to sell more of its goods in the international marketplace. An EU project aimed at helping firms obtain ISO certification is expected to provide a considerable boost.

By Erlis Selimaj for Southeast European Times in Tirana – 04/11/05

Introduction of a barcode system is expected to increase Albanian exports by 20 per cent to 30 per cent. [SE Times Illustration]

The EU will back a new project in Albania aimed at helping firms raise their products to international standards, which in turn should increase Albania's export capacity. As a result of the two-year programme, Albanian companies are expected to be able to sell more of their products to customers in EU member states.

"We want to support the Albanian companies with technical assistance, in order to reach the international standards … in other words, give a passport to the Albanian products to enter the EU market," said project manager Frederique Darmstaedter. The bloc is providing 1.5m euros for the effort.

Under the initiative, local and international specialists will offer their expertise and technical assistance for every Albanian company that aims to obtain certification from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). The bulk of the assistance will go towards companies operating in the food industry.

"It is important that the Albanian companies understand how important for their activity is the standardisation of their products. Firstly we would focus on raising the awareness of the production companies," Darmstaedter said.

Up until now, only 11 Albanian companies have received ISO certification -- a tiny percentage of the many businesses active in the country.

According to Arben Nati, head of the General Department of Standardisation (GDS), lack of certification has posed a major obstacle to Albania's exports to Europe.

"The GDS will contact every company that is interested to get a certification. I believe that at the end of this project, at least we would have ten more companies certified," Nati said.

In another step intended to help promote Albanian products on foreign markets, the Centre for Agricultural Studies -- with the food and agriculture ministry -- is finalising a barcode system, to be used for goods on the domestic market as well as for exports.

An initiative is under way to create an Albanian Barcode Association, bringing together members of the business community and manufacturers who want to improve their products' readiness for the international marketplace. Experts say introduction of the barcode system alone has the potential to boost exports by as much as 20 per cent to 30 per cent.