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Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) members approve an action plan to speed up trade
Middle East | Tehran

Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) members approve an action plan to speed up trade

6 Dec 2019

Meeting in Tehran last week, members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) reviewed studies on two new corridors - Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran (KTAI) and Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) and approved an action plan to improve their soft and hard infrastructure through the following measures:

  • Visa facilitation
    The harmonisation of corridor members’ respective national visa procedures, with one-year multiple-entry visas for drivers of TIR transports, means faster and more efficient operations. 
  • Digitalisation 
    Digital TIR IT tools will be introduced in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, while the eTIR pilot project between Iran and Turkey will be expanded to cover all TIR customs offices and all TIR transport operators. Pakistan will join Iran and Turkey in the eTIR project. 
  • TIR green lanes 
    Implemented at border crossings, green lanes will speed up transits, which also means less congestion and thus, a CO2 emission reduction 

“The results of the ECO-IRU studies highlight the importance of keeping pace with new technologies and using digital TIR to ensure a faster and more secure exchange of information regarding the carriage of goods across the ECO region,” noted Mr Kanan Nazarov, Deputy Secretary General of ECO. 

During the meeting, results of the first successful TIR pilot operation from Bandar Abbas (Iran) to Tajikistan via Afghanistan were also presented. They demonstrate that this new route could reduce transit time and costs compared to alternative routes.

“I thank our member associations in the three countries as well as the ministries of transport and customs authorities for supporting and monitoring this caravan. We look forward to activating many more corridors in the region, for the benefit of local communities and the road transport industry,” added Ms Tatiana Rey-Bellet, TIR Director.