On 27 December 2022, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan launched the world’s first cargo transportation project using eTIR, Uzbek news agency “Dunyo” reports.
The project involves the state Customs Committees of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, UN Economic Commission for Europe, the International Road Transport Union, the Association of International Road Carriers of Uzbekistan (AIRCUZ), the Organization of Turkic States and the German Community for International Cooperation “GIZ”.
The first eTIR (multimodal) transportation was carried out by an Uzbek carrier on the route customs point Ark-Bulak/Aviayuklar (Tashkent) – Azerbaijan customs point Baku Airport/Cargo Terminal Baku using the electronic guarantee “eTIR” No. JX95000448 on the UNECE platform.
The process included two international systems – eTIR and TIR-EPD, as well as the national customs systems of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
The practice has shown that when connecting various systems, it is possible to digitally conduct registration and receive information from anywhere in the world.
TIR (International Road Transport – fr. Transports Internationaux Routiers) is a global harmonized customs transit system that allows to transport goods from the country of departure to the destination country in sealed cargo compartments that pass customs control in accordance with transparent, mutually recognized procedures. The TIR reduces transportation time by up to 80% and costs by up to 38%.
Uzbekistan ranks second (after Iran) in the use of TIR Carnets among 77 Convention Contracting Countries.
However, the paper procedures made the TIR system vulnerable in the global age of information technology. Thus, the countries of the TIR Convention approved and in 2021 entered into force Annex 11 to the Convention, which provides for a fully digital process of the TIR system, from the issuance of guarantees to Customs clearance under the common name “eTIR”.
As a result, a technical body was formed and functional and technical specifications were developed, on the basis of which all participants in the processes integrate their information systems into one common system.
After the approval of the eTIR specifications, a competition began among the interested countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkiye, Iran, European Union, Uzbekistan) to integrate the latest transit tools with national Customs systems and after hundreds of pilot TIR operations, the Customs services of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan rightfully won this race.
The Organization of Turkic States made a welcoming statement on the occasion of the launch of a fully digital TIR operation.
“This significant achievement is a testament to the commitment of our Member States to promoting practical cooperation and advancing digitalization in transport and transit procedures, as outlined in the Samarkand Declaration of the OTS Summit held on November 11, 2022.
The success of this project adds value to the transport cooperation initiatives already underway within the Organization of Turkic States, including the introduction of digital TIR, e-Permit, and eCMR tools, among others,” the statement says.
Earlier, in cooperation with the IRU and OTS, a digital TIR project was launched between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which was extended to Kyrgyzstan in March 2022. ///nCa, 3 January 2023