Workshop on development of standard operating procedures for Border Police in Serbia

Strong and empowered cross‐border control is a key precondition for a comprehensive approach towards combating illicit trade and flows of firearms, essential components, ammunition, and explosives in the Western Balkans and a foundation of national and regional security. The strengthening of overall capacities is necessary to effectively suppress the trafficking of weapons, ammunition, and explosives across borders.

Bearing this in mind, within the framework of the EU Council Decision (CSP) 2018/1788, SEESAC is providing comprehensive support to Border Police Services in the Western Balkan Region based on a detailed needs assessment of the capacities of border police in the Western Balkans to counter illicit arms trafficking conducted in 2019.

Building further on this action, under the framework of the currently implemented EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/2111, additional support is planned regarding specific needs derived from the conducted needs assessments. Development /revision of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) was identified as one of the primary needs in the straightening of implementation of the Border Police legislative framework for countering illicit arms trafficking. SOPs with the support of SEESAC were finalized by the Border Police Services in Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.

A workshop dedicated to the development of SOPs for Border Police in Serbia was held in Vrdnik, on 10-12 May 2022.

In this workshop, we have analyzed with representatives of the Serbian Ministry of interior and Customs, the existing regulatory framework on the risk analysis and tracing of weapons as well as procedures for border checks and border surveillance. Together, we have also worked on standard working procedures in emergency/contingency situations posed by illicit transportation of weapons and explosives across the border.

Based on the thorough analysis and discussions during the workshop, draft SOPs for the Border police of Serbia will be prepared and sent to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia for endorsement.

The development of these important documents is SEESAC’s another important contribution towards further strengthening of the capacities of border services in the Western Balkans to better thwart and counter the trafficking of firearms, ammunition, and explosives from and through their respective jurisdictions.