ISLAMABAD – The ministry of Commerce on Friday said that a milestone has been achieved in Pakistan’s transit trade history as Pakistan Customs processed the first-ever TIR consignment at Torkhum destined for Tashkent (Uzbekistan) via Afghanistan.
The consignment consisted of herbal medicines and after completion of all custom formalities at Torkhum, it crossed into Afghanistan. It was shared in a meeting. The Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, attended a briefing on recent developments in the trade and connectivity of Pakistan with the neighbouring regions.
Dawood said that this is a moment of great pride for Pakistan and he lauded the efforts and role of the Pakistan Customs in this regard. This successful TIR operation will usher a new era of direct land-route trade with the Central Asian Republics (CARs). He said that the use of TIR system will streamline border procedure cutting time and money for trade and transport operators.
At the outset, the Advisor said that connectivity with trading partners is vital for viable trade relations. He said that the structure and efficiency connectivity networks enable access to markets and should be considered a facet of the trade competitiveness. Dawood said that the long-term vision of the government for trade and economic relations with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) is that we want to make Pakistan a hub for trade, transit and transshipment. He said that the trade must be based on secure, open, consistent, reliable and legal movement of goods at the Afghan border along with enhanced connectivity with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and CARs.
This will ensure that Pakistan leverages its geo-economic location in the region to enhance its international trade. He said that the current engagement with Afghanistan Uzbekistan, are steps towards implementation of this vision.
The Customs convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (called the “TIR Convention”) came into force in March 1978 and it replaced the original Transport Internationaux Routier (TIR) of 1959. Pakistan became a member of TIR Convention in 2017 and now the convention has 68 contracting parties including China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and all CARs. The objective of the TIR Convention is to facilitate international transit through simplified Customs transit procedures and an international guarantee system. Customs procedure takes place at origin and destination rather than at each border crossing, using a single guarantee.