KABUL, Afghanistan, September 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
As of 4 September 2013, international road transport operations under TIR will resume, to, from and across Afghanistan, after more than 30 years of interruption. This welcome development will considerably boost regional trade and economic development by opening up global trade to landlocked Central Asian countries via facilitated and secure international road transport.
After some 30 years of suspension, Afghanistan is back today as the 58th country to enjoy facilitated and secure trade by international road transport, as the TIR System has been reactivated today for transport operations to, from and across Afghanistan - an important development marked by an official ceremony, attended by high level Afghan officials, including the Minister of Finance, Hazrat Omar Zakhelwal, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Jarullah Mansoori, the Director General of the Afghan Customs Department, Dr Najibullah Wardak, the Head of Transport Division of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Secretariat, Dr Ismail Tekesadat, as well as Heads of diplomatic missions from various countries.
While enabling the Afghan business community to trade with its partners in a facilitated and secure way with reduced transport times and costs, reactivating TIR in Afghanistan will also open up considerable economic opportunities for landlocked Central Asian countries that can now trade with all TIR countries by road and facilitate their access to sea.
IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, stated: "We are very pleased that yet another country has decided and successfully managed to implement this tried and tested multilateral facilitation instrument for trade by international road transport. TIR has proven beneficial in driving economic growth for more than 60 years in many regions of the world, and we can only urge other countries that have not yet done so to follow this example. We warmly congratulate the Afghan Government for taking the initiative to boost not only its economy, but that of the entire Central Asian region, in the interest of all Afghan citizens."
True to the Public-Private Partnership that drives the TIR System, IRU member, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) has been confirmed by Afghan competent authorities as the issuing and guaranteeing Association for TIR Carnets in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as of 4 September 2013.
TIR training was also provided to ACCI personnel, as well as Afghan Customs officers and transport operators, to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the TIR system, including the use of its main risk management, highly secure IT tools.
ACCI issued its first TIR Carnet today, to the first registered Afghan transport operator. Moreover, several foreign TIR transport operators from Iran and Tajikistan carried out road transport operations under TIR on the territory of Afghanistan, after submitting electronically and free of charge to the Afghan Customs Department their cargo information via the IRU TIR-EPD application.
"Such developments considerably help support the UN Millennium Development Goals, and are the logical follow-up to the IRU and UN Mine Action Service joint action of teaming up, in 2011, to demine major road transport corridors in Afghanistan and ensure safe and secure international road transport operations across the country. We are more than happy to welcome back Afghanistan in the global trade community!" Umberto de Pretto concluded.
'TIR' (Transports Internationaux Routiers or International Road Transport) is an international Customs transit system based on a UN Convention implemented at global level in Public-Private Partnership. It has been facilitating and securing trade and international road transport for over 60 years, by allowing customs-sealed vehicles and freight containers to transit countries without border checks, thus considerably reducing transport times and costs. It is one of the most successful multilateral trade and transport facilitation and security instruments currently in force. (Download the leaflet)
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