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Ключ к процветанию Черноморского региона — увеличение квот и цифровизация
Albania | Tirana

Increasing transit permits and digitalisation key to Black Sea prosperity

7 May 2024 · Prosperity

IRU’s President detailed the latest road transport trends in the Black Sea region at BSEC-URTA’s General Assembly.

Geopolitical developments, including the war in Ukraine, have redefined trade routes over the past few years.

From January to August 2023, freight volumes from China to Europe along the Middle Corridor increased by 84% compared to the same period in 2022, surpassing 1.6 million tonnes.

Now more recently, east-west trade has been hit by the Red Sea crisis, requiring transport companies to look for alternative routes once again. New routes have emerged. But they need our support.

IRU President Radu Dinescu outlined key steps to optimise trade in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) region at the 43nd Meeting of the BSEC-URTA General Assembly in Albania, organised by IRU member ANALTIR.

IRU President Radu Dinescu said, “The drastic re-direction of cargo flows has put a lot of pressure on borders in the BSEC region. In 2024, corridors crossing the region became even more important for international goods transport.”

“Unfortunately, the BSEC region continues to experience border crossing issues. Congestion and long waiting times cause economic losses to the road transport industry. Investment in both hard infrastructure and soft procedures, services and tools are needed to keep up with increasing transit traffic. To ease border delays and reduce costs, we need to accelerate digitalisation – especially with eTIR, but also e-CMR, ePermits and eVisas,” he added.

Some BSEC countries such as Georgia and Azerbaijan have completed their eTIR integration procedures. Türkiye is at the latter stages and expected to complete its eTIR integration procedures in 2024.

“IRU and UNECE have been working together to find the fastest way to implement eTIR along key corridors already this year. I invite all BSEC-URTA countries to start integrating eTIR as soon as possible to start benefiting from it,” said Radu Dinescu.

“Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Greece are still not part of the BSEC permit system. They should join the BSEC permit system as quickly as possible. Uzbekistan and Türkiye have successfully tested electronic road permits. IRU supports the digitalisation of the BSEC Permit and all other permit quota systems,” he concluded.

Echoing IRU’s calls, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, H.E. Beşar Kadia, underlined the importance of the BSEC road permit and digitalisation efforts. Albania is one of the countries that has implemented the Single Window Project to streamline and accelerate border crossings by simplifying transit procedures.

He said, “I am glad to say that BSEC’s many years of fruitful cooperation with IRU and BSEC-URTA and their member associations are the most convincing evidence of our joint efforts to better promote trade and transport in our region.”

“We should further strengthen our work aimed at facilitating border crossings in the region in view of the serious problems that truck drivers are facing at borders, such as long queues and the absence of secure truck parking areas with even the most elementary facilities along key transit routes,” he added.