Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski and Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic promoted the joint e-toll payment system at the Presevo point (Serbia) on Sunday.

The system implemented within the Open Balkan initiative is set to ensure faster flow at tolls in Macedonia and Serbia, with citizens already using the M-tag system being able to pass through tolls in the neighboring country without any delays.

PM Kovachevski said the system is the best confirmation that Open Balkan is an initiative producing results.

“In only three months, Serbian and Macedonian engineers have managed to develop the solution for single e-payment of tolls, including for cargo vehicles by next Friday,” said Kovachevski.

He highlighted the importance of cooperation with Serbia regarding exchange of products, services and workforce.

“This is another validation that the initiative is truly focused on accelerating the flow of people, commodities, services and capital. As a result of the initiative, overall trade exchange between the two countries has increased by over 25 percent, including a rise of over 50 percent on the part of North Macedonia,” said Kovachevski.

The PM also noted that the number of tourists over the past couple of years has risen by 500 percent.

“What follows is a software solution for exchange of workers, so that people register at a single point in Serbia, Macedonia and Albania without any administrative procedures that can currently take up to three months,” said Kovachevski.

PM Brnabic said the goal of Open Balkan is to facilitate the life of people living in the area, make trade easier and raise the citizens’ living standard.

“This is an initiative that makes life easier in the best possible way, as well as travel and flow of commodities,” added Brnabic.

Minister of Transport and Communications Blagoj Bochvarski, who also attended the event, said such policies are a model for the region but also for other European countries.

Serbia’s Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesic said the project is part of the country’s policy to cancel all borders.

He said about 13,000 Serbian citizens have already installed the tag, whereas about 7,000 vehicles with Serbian register plates are crossing the border with Macedonia on a daily basis.

Open Balkan National Coordinator Marjan Zabrchanec said Albania would join Macedonia and Serbia once it installs the system at its tolls.

The single electronic toll collection system provides the opportunity for users to use one tag to pay tolls in all countries, without stopping or buying an additional card in the other states. The tag holders can reconfigure and register them at selling points in the countries. The system aims to increase traffic safety and reduce motorway jams, as well as improve flow of vehicles at tolls.