The Economic Cooperation Organization’s (ECO) Customs Transit Committee have met to assess and discuss the latest status of transit and border crossing developments in the region.
The bloc, bringing together 10 countries from Turkey across to Central Asia and Pakistan, focused on regional issues including the impact of the pandemic on road transport and border crossing procedures.
At the meeting, which IRU attended, ECO custom authorities highlighted the importance of using international tools and best practice, such as TIR and digitalisation in transport, to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on trade.
Customs authorities welcomed new initiatives by ECO and IRU including TIR pilot projects in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; and the Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan corridor. TIR digitalisation projects also garnered support, including along the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan corridor, set to soon be expanded to Kyrgyzstan and Iran, as well as the decision of Iran and Turkey to expand the scope of their eTIR pilot project.
Customs Transit Committee members also discussed best practice on border crossings, including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’s initiative to establish TIR green lanes at their borders to make TIR border crossings even faster and more secure.
IRU will continue supporting these projects to mitigate the pandemic and keep trade flowing along the region’s trade corridors, including with the recent change in Afghanistan’s government.