‘Foreign states biggest hurdle in implementing TIR system’
KABUL (Pajhwok): Alleging neighboring countries for creating problems, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) on Monday said that Afghanistan was facing with problems in implementing the Transports Internationaux Routiers (International Road Transport) system in the country.
TIR is an international harmonized system of customs control that facilitates trade and transport whilst effectively protecting the revenue of each country through which goods are carried.
In 1949, shortly after World War II, the first TIR agreement was concluded between a small number of European countries and led to the elaboration of the TIR Convention in 1954 under the umbrella of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
MoCI Minister Humayun Rasa told a press conference titled “Capacity Building and Raising Awareness about TIR” said that the implementation of the system could improve the country’s nascent economy.
But he expressed concern that Afghanistan was still facing troubles in implementing the TIR.
He added that non-standard customs, refusing issuing visa from the TIR member countries to Afghan drivers, compulsion from neighbor countries as Road Pass, lack of capacity in the private sector to utilize the system and absence of learning centers for introducing the TIR system were main problems to implement it.
Rasa said the system could provide sufficient facilities for investors and improve the country’s economic situation. “The MoCI is committed to solve all problems facing the implementation of TIR system,” he pledged.
Rasa accused Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and some other countries for not following the rules of International Convention of TIR to support Afghanistan in activating the system. But he did not provide more details about issue.
A vehicle from foreign countries entering Afghanistan pay $200 while a vehicle exporting goods from Afghanistan to foreign country pays $800 which was a large amount of money for trader to pay, he said.
Deputy Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Jarullah Mansori said the aim of the conference was to boost national capacity for using the TIR system.
Meanwhile, Younus Mohmand the administrative board deputy head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, also stressed on the activation of the system and said: “The TIR system will help remove transport and custom barriers and simplify goods transportation.”
He expressed concern that government organs including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry did not discharge their responsibility properly and asked the government to help resolve the problems facing the TIR system implementation.
Afghanistan has joined the Convention of TIR in 1983 and Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries is member of it but the system remained inactive due to continued violence and fighting in the country.
However, Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understating with the TIR Convention in 2010 for reactivation of the system.
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