The recent TIR Executive Board (TIRExB) Friends of the Chair meeting in Uzbekistan focused on how to accelerate the digitalisation of the booming Middle Corridor with eTIR.
The Middle Corridor – connecting China and Central Asia via the Caspian Sea with the Caucasus, Turkey and Europe – is experiencing rapid growth in trade, as freight volumes have shifted from other corridors.
In 2022, transit via the Middle Corridor saw a record growth in transit volumes, increasing by 150% compared to 2021. In just one month, from December 2022 to January 2023, the container turnover in the Caspian Basin underwent a 5.5-fold increase.
The State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan recently held a TIR Executive Board (TIRExB) Friends of the Chair meeting in Samarkand to speed up the digitalisation of the Middle Corridor with eTIR.
IRU Director of TIR and Transit Tatiana Rey-Bellet said, “With the record growth of trade volumes along the Middle Corridor, it is becoming increasingly urgent to digitalise international transit to further improve trade security and efficiency.
“Many TIR processes have already been successfully digitalised thanks to the collective effort of our members, partners and customs authorities in the region, bringing substantial benefits to both the public and private sector and enhancing transit security and facilitation.”
“Our common challenge now is to implement eTIR in line with the TIR Convention as quickly as possible,” she added.
The meeting was attended by customs services and national TIR associations from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of TIRExB, UNECE’s TIR Secretariat, IRU, TRACECA, the European Commission DG Taxation and Customs Union, GIZ, and the Islamic Development Bank.
What is eTIR?
The eTIR international system aims to ensure the secure exchange of data between national customs systems related to the international transit of goods, vehicles or containers, according to the provisions of the TIR Convention, and to allow customs to manage the data on guarantees issued to TIR holders.