Submission of advance electronic information about goods to the customs authority

In accordance with the Customs Code of Turkmenistan, from June 1, 2024, carriers or other interested parties are given the opportunity to submit advance electronic information about goods intended for import into the customs territory of Turkmenistan before their actual arrival.

Advance electronic information can be submitted to customs authorities through the customs information system «ASYCUDA World» and in accordance with the «Customs Convention of November 14, 1975 on the International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention)» (IRU) TIR-EPD information system in Turkmen, Russian and (or) English.

Movement across the customs border of Turkmenistan and customs clearance of goods imported into the customs territory of Turkmenistan on the basis of provision of advance electronic information is carried out as a priority.

The submitted advance electronic information about goods subject to import into the customs territory of Turkmenistan, including transit transportation, is aimed at stimulating foreign trade activities by accelerating customs clearance by customs authorities.

Source

First TIR logistics hub opens in Western China in boost to pan-Asian trade

27 MAY 2024 · PROSPERITY

The first TIR Logistics Hub accredited by IRU has opened in Kashgar, Western China, offering a one-stop-shop for TIR transport companies, customs services and supply chain players.

A new TIR logistics hub accredited by IRU, the first-of-its-kind, was inaugurated yesterday in Kashgar, China, a major city and trade gateway in the western region of Xinjiang, close to Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

The unique facility brings together all essential transit services under one roof: customs clearance, warehousing, cargo handling, route development, and transport capacity matching.

With TIR already boosting trade between China and Eurasia, the integrated approach of the hub will further streamline operations, boost efficiency and save costs for transport companies operating into Central and South Asia, as well as from China through to the Middle East and Europe.

IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said, “I am delighted to welcome the inauguration of the first TIR logistics hub in China. Such secure route diversification will facilitate regional trade growth and make supply chains more resilient.”  

“IRU looks forward to collaborating with partners to leverage the resources and key role of the TIR logistics hub, as well as the benefits of TIR to further diversify and optimise trade routes linking China to Central Asia and beyond,” he added.

IRU Chief Representative of East and Southeast Asia Yan Zhou said, “In recent years, Kashgar has been making continuous efforts in TIR transport with regular operations along the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan and China-Pakistan economic corridors. This has established a solid foundation for the launch of the Kashgar TIR Logistics Hub.”

“With the strong support of customs and transport authorities, local governments and industry partners, we are confident that the TIR logistics hub will create shared opportunities and contribute significantly to the development of China’s international road transport industry,” she added.

CEVA Logistics Vice President of Ground & Rail for Greater China and Global Cross Border & Multimodal Leader Kelvin Tang said, “I am honoured to attend the inauguration ceremony of the first TIR logistics hub accredited by IRU in China.

“As a pioneer of TIR solutions in China, CEVA has successfully opened TIR routes between China and Europe, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2018. We have continuously invested in international road transport and TIR solutions. With the launch of this hub in Kashgar, I believe TIR will grow faster and become more widely used.”

“By working with IRU and our partners, CEVA is committed to providing our customers with transport services that offer significant time and cost savings under TIR,” he added.

Located in China’s north-west Xinjiang Region, Kashgar serves as a key logistics hub for goods transported between China and Central Asia, South Asia and other regions.

IRU will explore opportunities to establish TIR Logistics Hubs in other cities in China to further facilitate international trade between China and countries across Eurasia.

What is the TIR system?

The TIR system enables goods to be shipped from a country of origin to a country of destination in sealed load compartments that are controlled by customs via a multilateral, mutually recognised system.

TIR streamlines procedures at borders, reducing the administrative burden for customs authorities and transport and logistics companies. It cuts border waiting times significantly, saving time and money.

TIR is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024, marking the first agreement to establish the system by nine European countries in 1949 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

The TIR system connects China with over 30 countries across Eurasia, offering more secure transport options that are over 80% faster and 50% cheaper. Twenty-eight Chinese cities have started TIR operations.

Source IRU

Greening transport needs a pragmatic approach, IRU tells ministers

23 MAY 2024 · ENVIRONMENT

Opening the 2024 ITF Summit of Transport Ministers in Leipzig, Germany, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto has stressed the importance of a pragmatic approach to decarbonising commercial road transport based on proven, available efficiency measures.

Governments need to support proven efficiency measures, at the same time as alternative fuels investment, to decarbonise effectively, IRU told transport ministers and industry leaders from around the world at the opening plenary session of the annual Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF).

“Greening the world road transport industry is our mission, and we can’t let crises – however grave – disrupt progress to carbon neutrality. But this will only happen if we decarbonise pragmatically,” said Umberto de Pretto.

IRU Green Compact research has found that the best way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is for the industry and governments to deliver on two types of actions simultaneously: energy efficiency measures and alternative fuels implementation. 

Energy efficiency measures – available right now – can cut 50% of all CO2 emissions from commercial road transport from now through to 2050. 

A steady transition to new alternative fuels and the vehicles, infrastructure and business models needed to run them – including electricity, hydrogen and carbon-neutral biofuels – covers the other 50%.

The important point here is that both need to happen now and over time through to 2050. We need to act now on all fronts. ”UMBERTO DE PRETTOIRU Secretary General

IRU also emphasised the role of technology neutrality and warned against misguided forced modal shift policies.

Umberto de Pretto concluded, “Are we aiming to save the planet or a particular mode of transport? All modes need to work together to provide a full range of network services to users. We all need to work together, with each other, with governments, and with our clients, to keep greening transport.

“Transport operators – of all modes – know best how to operate services in the most efficient and, therefore, the greenest way possible. Trust in them and the power of a well-regulated market.”

IRU was joined by other notable government and international leaders at the opening plenary session. 

China’s Vice Minister of Transport, Yang Li, thanked IRU for its work with the Chinese government and the TIR system in helping China advance sustainable transport.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Executive Secretary, Tatiana Molcean, also highlighted the crucial role of TIR in global supply chains.

Source IRU

Washington D.C. to host int’l forum on Middle Corridor development

The US-based Caspian Policy Center (CPC), one of the leading analytical structures in the US, is organizing the 8th Annual Trans-Caspian Forum titled “How to Maximize the Middle Corridor” on May 21 in Washington.

“Collaborating with the embassies of the Caspian region, South Caucasus, and neighboring countries—such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye, and Uzbekistan—we are arranging a Middle Corridor forum,” the CPC website reported.

Amid the energy and security challenges stemming, CPC experts emphasize the crucial necessity for strategic engagement between the US and the Caspian region.

“The recent global paradigm shift underscores the imperative for the US to reassess its alliances and assist nations in this pivotal region to bolster their economic sovereignty through enhanced connectivity and trade, notably via the Middle Corridor,” the statement highlighted.

Consequently, the inaugural panel of the Trans-Caspian Forum will focus on “Building on the United States-Caspian Strategic Partnership.”

Distinguished guests such as US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell, Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, USAID representative Isobel Coleman, and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets Arun Venkataraman have been invited to participate in the forum.

Richard Eugene Hoagland, former American Ambassador and Chairman of the Board of the Caspian Policy Center, along with Deputy Foreign Ministers from invited states (including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye, and Uzbekistan), will address the forum on the development of the Caspian region.

The second panel will focus on “Maximizing Development Impact: Prioritization and Coordination” and will directly address the Middle Corridor route.

“This multimodal corridor offers the most direct path for goods traveling from China to Europe, being 3,000 kilometers shorter than the northern route via Russia. In January of this year, the EU declared its commitment to allocate $10.8 billion to bolster the Middle Corridor link between Europe and Central Asia. It’s crucial now to ascertain how governments and international financial institutions intend to synchronize and prioritize the diverse investments and policies essential for establishing an efficient and contemporary transport route,” the CPC experts say.

The panel discussion will include Ambassador Erin Elizabeth McKee representing USAID, Henrik Hololei from the European Commission, Tamar Jejeia Satterwhite from the US Department of Commerce, and Winnie Wang, Lead Infrastructure Specialist and Program Leader, Europe and Central Asia program at the World Bank.

The third panel, titled “How to Do Business Better Along the Middle Corridor: Experts Discuss Needs and Opportunities,” will feature Eugene Seah, Chief Operating Officer, Baku International Sea Trade Port, and Mamuka Murjikneli, CEO, Wondernet Investment Group. Also invited to this panel are Carolyn Lamm, Chairman of the Board, American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce; Greg Sbrocco, Executive Vice President, Global Operations, Wabtec Corporation; and Alice Wong, Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer, Cameco.

It’s worth noting that the Middle Corridor is under scrutiny by the global community for facilitating trade between two major economies, China and the EU.

Source

An online-meeting between customs officers of Turkmenistan and colleagues from Turkey took place

An online-meeting took place between representatives of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Customs and Trade of the Republic of Turkey. This is reported on the website of the customs department of Turkmenistan.

During the meeting, the draft Agreement on the Simplified Customs Corridor (SCC) and the Protocol on the establishment of the Joint Customs Committee were reviewed.

The creation of the Joint Customs Committee should facilitate the organization of effective customs cooperation within the framework of the implementation of bilateral agreements concluded between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Turkey.

The Simplified Customs Corridor project is an exchange of preliminary information about goods between the customs services of Turkmenistan and Turkey. This information will be used during customs control.

Source

IRU addresses UN General Assembly on sustainable transport

19 APR 2024 · ENVIRONMENT

During the UN’s first annual Sustainability Week, IRU’s Secretary General outlined key actions to continue advancing the sustainability of road transport and its role in global development.

How do we leverage the social inclusivity and sustainability of road transport to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

That’s the question IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto tackled at the UN General Assembly this week in New York.

“Transport keeps us fed, healthy and supplied with the essentials of life. It brings us to our workplace and connects us with our loved ones. It is essential to the lives and livelihoods of all eight billion people that we share this planet with.

“All modes of transport must work together to get people and goods to their destinations. They must all become greener and proactively support social inclusion, especially for the poorest communities in our world.

“Greening transport is a marathon, not a sprint. We cannot wait for 2050 and then press a ‘magic button’. We need to pursue a mix of different policies in parallel – right now.

“Pragmatic efficiency measures – like longer vehicles, better route optimisation and driver training – may be less exciting than new fuel technologies, but if we are more efficient, we are greener. With the right enabling environment, legislation and incentives, we can already reduce our carbon footprint by 50%.”

The IRU Green Compact, a collective global roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality in commercial road transport by 2050, has found that pragmatic efficiency measures are key to decarbonisation efforts, as important as alternative fuels over the short and long term. 

Umberto de Pretto also emphasised the crucial role of tried-and-test UN trade tools in improving not only the efficiency of transit and transport but also its sustainability.

“How can trucks inching forward at borders for hours, days and even weeks – while emitting carbon emissions – be sustainable? We have tools such as the UN TIR Convention that has worked for over seven decades. Real live transport operations show that streamlining border crossings using the TIR system reduces the carbon emissions of a cross-border journey by up to 30%,” highlighted Umberto de Pretto.

“We need to maximise the power of the instruments at our disposal. Any country not part of the TIR system must accelerate its accession and implementation. Governments don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Just rather look at what has been working for decades,” he added.

What else needs to be done?

Looking forward to the UN Decade of Sustainable Transport, Umberto de Pretto detailed three specific suggestions:

Firstly, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Transport, which consists of representative stakeholders, should become an annual event to share experiences, best practices, successes and failures for the Decade of Action for Sustainable Transport.

Secondly, the number of ratified and implemented UN Conventions, such as TIR, CMR and ADR, should be used as key indicators to monitor progress.

Thirdly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Public-private cooperation is required to implement pragmatic regional and local pathways to carbon neutrality. The IRU Green Compact is based on regional flexibility in terms of evidence gathering, testing and scaling up of solutions.

Umberto de Pretto concluded, “IRU looks forward to playing an active role in the UN Decade of Sustainable Transport. We, together with governments, need to pursue all measures available to ensure that decarbonisation does not compromise the key role of transport in economic and social development.”

Source IRU

Transit transportation without borders: Turkmenbashi International Seaport announces a grandiose action

Great news for shippers!

Turkmenbashi International Seaport announces a grandiose action: 50% discount for all types of transit cargo.

Take advantage of this profitable opportunity
Reduce freight transportation costs.
Increase the volume of transit transportation.
Choose Turkmenbashi Port as a reliable partner for your business.

Promotion terms and conditions

Discount is given to all shippers, regardless of the country of origin or destination of cargo.

The discount applies to all types of transit cargoes, including containers, general and bulk cargoes.

To receive the discount, please fill in an application form on the port’s website or at the company’s office.

Free business lunch
Turkmenbashi Port and Charlak restaurant give all drivers a free business lunch as part of the campaign.

In order to get a business lunch you need to:
•Arrive at Turkmenbashi Port by car.
•Go to the business lunch points of Charlak restaurant, which is located on the territory of the port and show the voucher, which will be given to you at the entrance to the port territory.

For more information:

Website: port.com.tm **E-mails:
tisp.marketing@port.com.tm
tisp.marketingport@gmail.com

Phone numbers:
+993 243 4-91-82
+993 63 61 35 88

Source

Global trade community turns to TIR to boost supply chain resilience

18 MAR 2024 · PROSPERITY

Members of the IRU Commission on Customs Affairs (CAD) have discussed key measures to optimise trade and transit as well as the growing interest in the TIR system amid the Red Sea crisis.

CAD members focused on key developments in global trade and transport.

Reliable, sustainable and resilient door-to-door TIR transports have become even more important in today’s volatile geopolitical environment, which has most recently been rocked by the Red Sea crisis.

Transport corridors have shifted, and longer itineraries, including ones exceeding 8,000km, have demonstrated the unique efficiency of TIR. 

For example, the Milton Group relied on the TIR system to transport goods from Europe to the Middle East – crossing 13 countries – in just nine days, rather than taking 40 days by sea. Or recent TIR truck operations between China and Central Asia which arrived at their destinations three times faster than without TIR.

IRU President Radu Dinescu said, “The global trade community, including exporters and importers, manufactures and freight-forwarders, are increasingly interested in TIR. The clear advantages that they associate with TIR are reduced transport times and costs, increased predictability of deliveries, minimised risk of freight damage, and enhanced cargo security.

“Meetings such as CAD are very important to determine the best approaches to alleviate the burdens facing transit and transport, and to facilitate trade with the efficiency, speed and security offered by TIR.”

“Last year marked IRU’s 75th anniversary. 2024 is another special year as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the TIR system. I encourage everyone to share more TIR success stories,” he added.

CAD President Michaela Havelkova said, “It is very pragmatic and wise that trade partners are favouring transport services provided by reliable and highly professional TIR operators and drivers who transport cargo in highly secure TIR vehicles and containers certified by customs.”

“To maximise these benefits, we should further unlock their potential through TIR initiatives and projects, such as TIR-EPD and TIR Green Lanes,” she added.

In various regions, customs authorities have implemented dedicated “express lanes” for TIR trucks to ease congestion at borders and receive advance information for risk management via the TIR-EPD system. Risk-based facilitation allows customs authorities to separate traffic flows and handle low-risk cargo faster. 

The CAD meeting also focused on the digitalisation of transport operations, including eTIR and e-CMR developments, TIR best practices in various regions, and how to support the evolving corridors and foster synergies between different modes of transport.

About CAD

CAD aims to improve the efficiency and security of border crossings, including through the increased use of TIR. 

The Commission informs partners on flexibility and security at borders, and monitors trade facilitation legislation.

Source IRU

Highlights: IRU at 2024 United Nations Inland Transport Committee

27 FEB 2024 · PROSPERITY

IRU was at the heart of the 86th Inland Transport Committee (ITC) debates last week, outlining key decarbonisation and trade facilitation opportunities ahead.

It was a busy week in Geneva. Road transport actors from around the world were in town for the 86th ITC session, including delegations from the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)’s 56 member states and far beyond.

The week featured ITC working group meetings, including on road traffic safety, vehicle regulation harmonisation, the transport of dangerous goods, border crossing facilitation, and intermodal transport.

The 86th session also included a host of events and bilaterals. Here’s a snippet of IRU’s participation and high-level meetings. 

Leading decarbonisation debate

On Tuesday, kick-off day, the efficient decarbonisation of road transport took centre stage, with IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto moderating a high-level ministerial panel on how to accelerate the decarbonisation of road transport.

Setting the scene, Umberto de Pretto initiated the discussion by highlighting that “the road transport industry is committed to become carbon neutral by 2050. The IRU Green Compact offers a pragmatic and realistic decarbonisation pathway to ensure that our industry can continue to meet increasing transport demand. But we need to move from ambition to action. With global coordination and genuine public-private partnerships, we can get it done.”

“We cannot wait for 2050 and then press the ‘magic button’. We need to pursue a mix of different policies right now. Governments need to provide enabling conditions that will allow transport operators to drive immediate efficiency wins, therefore cut CO2 emissions, as well as to invest in alternative fuel technologies over the longer term,” he added.

The panellists agreed that decarbonisation requires a holistic approach that leaves no one behind and incorporates economic development, social equity and environmental protection. They also emphasised the key role of UNECE in harmonising, coordinating and integrating approaches regionally and globally.

Sustainability side event

Then on Thursday, Umberto de Pretto was a panellist on a roundtable organised by the Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), titled “Towards Sustainable Transportation: Best Practices, Challenges and Solutions”, which was moderated by Vepa Hajiyev, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to UNOG.

IRU’s intervention focused on two key topics: World Sustainable Transport Day and decarbonisation.

Umberto de Pretto said, “As we’ve seen time and time again, road transport turns landlocked countries, such as Turkmenistan, into land-linked transport hubs. That’s one reason why we were delighted to see Turkmenistan champion and successfully advance the adoption of the UN World Sustainable Transport Day resolution.”

“Across the world, commercial road transport – trucks, vans, buses, coaches and taxis – is the lifeblood of economies and communities in all countries, moving people and goods across countries and continents. I encourage all governments to implement TIR and its IT tools to optimise border crossings and stop trucks from idling at borders for hours and days on,” he added.

Green borders

Finally on Friday, IRU’s TIR and Transit Director, Tatiana Rey-Bellet, unpacked how TIR and border-cross facilitation measures are helping the sector to decarbonise during UNECE’s roundtable titled “Fostering the digital and green transition for inland transport in support of the Sustainable Development Agenda”.

Following opening remarks by UNECE’s Deputy Executive Secretary (Dmitry Mariyasin) and Chief of Section, Transport Networks and Logistics, Sustainable Transport Division (Francesco Dionori), Tatiana Ray-Bellet highlighted how shorter border crossing times enabled by TIR can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1 tonne per truck per journey:

“Efficient border crossings are a key pre-condition for efficient logistics. eTIR is expected to rachet up TIR’s border crossing time reductions, thus further cutting emissions, while removing other procedures which today lead to additional transport costs.”

“With eTIR, the transport of new and used TIR carnets between IRU and TIR associations, which is mostly done by air, won’t be necessary anymore. Furthermore, eTIR will make it much easier to bring TIR benefits to the service of intermodal transport, thus opening new opportunities for the efficient combination of different transport modes,” she added.

Tatiana Rey-Bellet further called on all TIR countries to accelerate their transition to eTIR.

“Since all necessary business-to-business and business-to-customs exchanges have been implemented, TIR countries need to complete the last remaining piece of connectivity: interconnection with the eTIR international system hosted by UNECE,” she concluded.

High-level bilaterals

Throughout the week, IRU also held high-level bilateral talks with international organisations and national delegations, including with Saudi Arabia and Türkiye on TIR and transport facilitation, and with Azerbaijan and the UN’s climate change body on preparatory work ahead of COP 29.

In a meeting with Daryush Amani, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Transport and the President of the Road Maintenance and Transport Organisation (RMTO), IRU and RMTO reviewed joint projects, including on driver training and certification projects, and agreed on next steps. 

They also discussed how IRU can help RMTO to improve transit policies and procedures as well as physical controls and congestion at borders.

IRU held other high-level meetings, including with the Secretaries General of the International Transport Forum, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). 

Umberto de Pretto and ECO Secretary General Khusrav Noziri discussed avenues to strengthen public-private partnerships through the newly established ECO TIR Associations Consultative Group (TIRACG), underlining the importance of implementing the group’s recommendations in order to enact ECO’s initiatives to advance international transport and transit.

The two also touched on other pressing issues such as the digitalisation of transport and transit documents, including eTIR implementation, joint capacity-building activities, and visa facilitation for drivers.

Source IRU

IRU leads road transport decarbonisation debate at United Nations

21 FEB 2024 · ENVIRONMENT

The efficient decarbonisation of road transport took centre stage at the United Nations Inland Transport Committee’s kick-off day in Geneva.

At the 86th United Nations Inland Transport Committee, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto moderated a high-level ministerial panel on how to accelerate the decarbonisation of road transport, including available efficiency measures and infrastructure requirements.

Setting the scene, Umberto de Pretto opened the discussion by highlighting that “the road transport industry is committed to become carbon neutral by 2050. The IRU Green Compact offers a pragmatic and realistic decarbonisation pathway to ensure that our industry can continue to meet increasing transport demand. But we need to move from ambition to action. With global coordination and genuine public-private partnerships, we can get it done.”

“We cannot wait for 2050 and then press the ‘magic button’. We need to pursue a mix of different policies right now. Governments need to provide enabling conditions that will allow transport operators to drive immediate efficiency wins, therefore cut CO₂ emissions, as well as to invest in alternative fuel technologies over the longer term,” he added.

The panellists agreed that decarbonisation requires a holistic approach that leaves no one behind and incorporates economic development, social equity and environmental protection. They also emphasised the key role of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in harmonising, coordinating and integrating approaches regionally and globally.

Umberto de Pretto also held a series of high-level bilateral talks with international organisations and national delegations, including with Saudi Arabia and Türkiye on TIR and transport facilitation, and with Azerbaijan and the UN’s climate change body on preparatory work ahead of COP 29.

IRU held other high-level meetings with the Secretaries General of the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and the International Transport Forum.

The Inland Transport Committee is the UN platform for inland transport tasked with helping to efficiently address global and regional needs in inland transport. 

Source IRU