ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) transport reached Kabul (Afghanistan) via Peshawar and Jalalabad on October 13.
Talking with Customs Today, Director General Transit Trade Muhammad Javed Ghani said TIR system offers a solution for harmonised processes at borders across the region and “we should also keep focus on cross-border transport as transit has become much more streamlined and secured”.
He said this is another milestone in our strategy to streamline transport and trade in the region, which will benefit the economies and the communities along these corridors in Pakistan and beyond.
It is important to mention here that this launch follows recent meetings in Istanbul between Afghanistan and Pakistan – where TIR was highlighted as the customs standard to facilitate transport, and transit between the two countries and the two TIR actors agreed to initiate test operations from Karachi to Kabul and vice versa.
Saving time and costs were already reported by an Afghan transport operator last week, which sent three trucks from Torkham, Afghan-Pakistan border crossing point, to Dushanbe, Tajikistan using TIR. TIR was also particularly useful in avoiding large trans-shipment costs at the border with Tajikistan. There is now full momentum to use TIR in more transit routes from neighboring countries including Pakistan and Iran to Central Asia to reduce the cost and time of regional transports even further.
The activation of these corridors, which straddle East and West, is critical to the development of the region and the advancement of trade. Next steps include the activation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the TIR system, which will connect China with the Middle East and Africa.
In addition, the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad trade corridor, which has the potential to link Pakistan to the markets of Iran, Central Asia, Turkey and eventually Europe will be activated under TIR system, and ‘we saw the first inbound TIR operation from Iran to Pakistan earlier this year’.