The first meeting of the newly created “Economic Cooperation Organization-TIR National Associations Consultative Group (ECO-TIRACG)” reviewed the group’s key responsibilities as well as border optimisation opportunities.
The new group was created to provide inputs to ECO bodies on issues and challenges related to transport and transit. The group will be particularly focused on enhancing the benefits of TIR for both the public and private sector in the ECO region.
The secretaries general of IRU and ECO, Umberto de Pretto and Ambassador Khusrav Noziri, opened the meeting.
IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto welcomed the establishment of the group, “I am confident that this group will play an important role and contribute to ECO’s efforts facilitating international transport and transit.”
“The group’s inputs and recommendations to ECO and its relevant bodies could significantly help member states in taking decisions and pursuing policies based on facts and what is actually happening on the ground,” he added.
ECO Secretary General Ambassador Khusrav Noziri said, “The role of the private sector in the development of transport connectivity cannot be overemphasised. We believe that the Consultative Group of ECO-TIR Issuing and Guaranteeing Associations will act as a much needed platform for a constructive public-private partnership and contribute to achieving the connectivity goals of ECO in the transport sector.”
During the meeting, the ECO Secretariat outlined transport and transit structures and bodies that ECO-TIRACG could provide inputs for consideration by member states.
The ECO-TIRACG meeting also looked at pressing border-crossing challenges, as well as solutions and border optimisation best practices, including TIR Green Lanes, intelligent queueing and e-queueing mechanisms, digitalisation, visa and permit facilitation, and the removal of repetitive and unnecessary customs controls.
The meeting ended with proposals on how public and private actors can work together to improve border crossings.
ECO-TIRACG was created following the ECO Ministers of Transport’s decision requiring its Secretariat to work with IRU to set up a group that provides inputs to ECO bodies on issues and challenges related to transport and transit.
ECO has ten member states: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.