Azerbaijan works on launching eTIR system on East-West route with partners (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24

By Sara Israfilbayova – Trend:

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine are working on launching the eTIR system (digitalization of document flow within international road traffic) on the East-West route, Safar Mehdiyev, Chairman of the State Customs Committee (SCC) of Azerbaijan, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

According to Mehdiyev, simplifying transit cargo transportation, both on the East-West and North-South routes, is a priority for Azerbaijan.

Touching on customs digitization, the chairman also stressed the importance of the New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) in Europe, and added that work is currently underway to launch this system in Azerbaijan.

"Using this system, among other things, allows for bringing the number of documents used in transit cargo transportation to a minimum, speeding up risk assessment and analysis by means of electronic information exchange throughout the whole transit route," Mehdiyev said.

At the same time, the chairman believes that the implementation of the NCTS system will create an additional opportunity for products under the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand to enter the European markets.

"This, first and foremost, means an increase in the transit opportunities of Azerbaijan on the East-West route."

Mehdiyev stressed that the development of Azerbaijan’s transit potential is one of the priorities in the country's economy.

"In this context, measures are being taken for the development of transit aimed at simplifying customs procedures and operations at border crossing points during international cargo transportation," Mehdiyev added.

Mehdiyev touched upon a number of documents adopted recently for this purpose in Azerbaijan. In particular, in accordance with the decree of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev "On additional measures to continue reforms in the customs system" from March 4, 2016, the customs authorities were instructed to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of transit corridors passing through the territory of Azerbaijan, attracting additional transit cargoes to these corridors, thereby reducing their delivery times, as well as optimizing procedures at border crossing points, by analyzing the risks that arise during international cargo transportation, minimize the number of documents and procedures necessary for customs clearance and implement other measures aimed at simplifying foreign trade operations.

At the same time, the Strategic Road Map for the Development of Logistics and Trade in Azerbaijan, approved by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on December 6, 2016, identified a number of measures for turning the country into an important logistical and trade hub in the region.

"These measures include attracting transit cargo to transport corridors passing through the country's territory, simplifying procedures at border crossing points, creating conditions for increasing the volume of trade operations through the territory of Azerbaijan," said Mehdiyev.

The roadmap also accounts for the optimization of time and expenses for export-import operations and transit cargo transportation, which is necessary to increase the competitiveness of Azerbaijan in the East-West and North-South transport corridors, Mehdiyev added.

Presently, several routes from Asia to Europe go through Azerbaijan. Among such projects are “North-South”, which is designed to transport goods from India and the Gulf countries to Russia, Western Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavia.

In addition, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, a part of the East-West corridor built at the initiative of Azerbaijan, also allows for the supply of cargo to Europe. Another example is the "Lapis Lazuli" route, which runs from Afghanistan to Turkey and further to Europe.

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