At the end of June, the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan hosted a meeting TIR Executive Board (TIRExB) Friends of the Chair meeting in Samarkand aimed at promoting digitalization of the rapidly developing Middle Corridor using eTIR tools.
The Middle or Middle Corridor connects China, Central Asia through the Caspian Sea with the Caucasus, Turkey and Europe. The corridor is experiencing rapid growth in trade, as freight volumes have shifted from other corridors, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) notes.
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.
According to the IRU Director of TIR and Transit Tatiana Rey-Bellet, with the record growth of trade volumes along the Middle Corridor, it is becoming increasingly urgent to digitalize international transit to further improve trade security and efficiency.
“Many TIR processes have already been successfully digitalized 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,” she stressed.
A.A. Asavbayev, TRACECA Secretary General, noted that in recent years there has been a positive trend in the work of authorized bodies on joining the eTIR international system in the TRACECA countries.
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan have completed joining the UNECE international system, while Turkey plans to finalize joining in the near future.
“TRACECA is the most active region of eTIR implementation and with support at the national level in Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, there are all prerequisites for launching a corridor where TIR will be fully digital,” Asavbayev stressed.
The meeting brought together 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. ///nCa, 5 July 2023
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