CAREC Countries Propose Application of ‘Unified Window’ System

Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 April / corr Trend I.Khalilova / In order to simplify trade in the customs places in the members countries of CAREC (Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation), program consider it necessary to establish a 'unified window' system and the governments of these countries should take an active participation in it. The proposal was voiced at the workshop on 'CAREC Trade Logistics and Efficiency Monitoring' held in Baku on 23 April.

According to the participants, absence of this system results in the increase of document turnover, which is also indicated in the World Bank report and expenses while cargo delivery. To reduce the check-up time, it is expedient to attract the customs bodies to these measures so as to harmonize the custom procedures.

CAREC is a partnership involving eight countries ( Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and six international financial institutions (Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UNDP, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank).

The application of a 'unified window' will strengthen the passage of automobile transport conveyances because at present they pass through minimum five state bodies while passing the check-up, Ramiz Akhundov, the Secretary General of the Azerbaijani Association of International Cargo Transportersа.

At present, the custom bodies are working over the application of a 'unified window' in Azerbaijan.

While passing the border, the goods are checked not only by the State Customs Committee and the State Border Service, but also by State Phytosanitary Control, State Veterinary Service, Sanitary Service of the Transport Ministry, Health Ministry and Interior Ministry.

The Azerbaijani Government applied to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Special Program on Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) for assistance in establishing the 'unified window' business registration system at the borders for simplification of trade, the Government said on 19 January. Azerbaijan was the first among the SPECA countries (Asia, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan) to initiate implementation of the project.

UNESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) and UNECO (the UN Economic Cooperation Organization) will render their assistance in implementation of the project on simplification of business registration at the Azerbaijani borders.

The main purpose of the project is to commission one state body with coordination of goods control, which if necessary will involve other bodies. In Turkey, the system is coordinated by the Customs Service, but its system is imperfect and now it is being updated. In Europe, only several countries apply the 'single window' system at the borders. The Balkan countries have commenced implementation of the project.

The arrangements on trade simplification will be a continuation of the new business registration system which was introduced in Azerbaijan on 1 January 2008 and is coordinated by the Taxes Ministry.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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