According to Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission (PS IGC) TRACECA Asset Assavbayev, harmonization and easing of customs procedures has always been one of interests of TRACECA countries.
This statement was made during the first virtual workshop on customs issues along the routes (Europe-Caucasus-Asia).
The press service said that the harmonization and simplification of customs transit procedures, also mechanisms for systematic exchange of information between customs authorities were discussed by the Secretary General and the member countries of the Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia Corridor (MLA) TRACECA.
According to the press service, the support and the simplification of customs procedures at border crossings and seaports along TRACECA in order to facilitate the movement of goods were the main objective of the seminar.
They also mentioned that multimodal transport through the territory of several countries, accompanied by modal shifts, characterizes TRACECA routes connecting Europe, the Caucasus and Asia.
Additional processing time is required for goods transportation through border crossings and seaports in TRACECA transit countries. Certain formalities related to paperwork and customs procedures are also needed for modal shifts.
According to TRACECA, the issues of permanent interest to its member states, which are striving to improve communication along the whole Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor, are harmonization and simplification of procedures generally, improvement of the efficiency of customs transit regimes, simplification of customs formalities, optimizing of border crossing operations and improvement of the efficiency of seaports.
The need to simplify traffic and reduce border crossing times, which is important for the attractiveness of TRACECA corridor routes, was also noted by Assavbayev.
He said that one of the most important issues to be addressed in order to improve border crossing efficiency were customs procedures at border crossings and seaports, and the goal of facilitating international transport along our route can be significantly contributed to by the exchange of experience and harmonization of policies related to the implementation of international customs transit systems.
An overview of customs transit systems along TRACECA routes was proposed to be developed, and a meeting between member countries to be organized to gain access to a common transit convention. The research and consideration of simplified customs transit procedures in more detail was the result of the last seminar.
They also proposed the usage of advance cargo information, also the development of mechanisms for the systematic exchange of information between customs authorities in selected TRACECA countries (where such mechanisms currently do not exist) during the last seminar. The second workshop on customs issues in October 2022 will give the opportunity to discuss all these topics further.