BSEC-URTA Continues to be on the field: BSEC-URTA Visit to Azerbaijan
Instructed by the BSEC-URTA Management Council, the delegation of the BSEC-URTA International Secretariat empowered with the participation of IRU, realized a visit to Azerbaijan to carry out meetings with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Transport, Azerbaijan Ministry of Customs, and Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company. BSEC-URTA also realized a site visit to the Samur border crossing point (Azerbaijan – Russia).
Azerbaijan is a significant part of the world’s logistics by its location in the Middle Corridor. With its borders on the north and south axis, and with its competent infrastructured ports located in the Caspian Sea, an enormous flow of cargo monitored to be directed to the Middle Corridor and Azerbaijan border crossing points and its ports, especially the cargo rerouting of from the North Corridor. In addition to the Middle Corridor, the Zangezur Corridor that Azerbaijan takes a significant part in is expected to bring an additional and alternative border crossing point to the BSEC region, which will take the traffic from the current BSEC congested borders.
In this regard, the BSEC-URTA delegation represented by Secretary General Mehmet Uylukcu, Deputy Secretary General Alpdogan Kahraman, IRU’s General Delegate in Istanbul, Erman Ereke, ABADA Deputy Secretary General Kenan Gurbanov, realized a series of meetings with the Azerbaijan officials to discuss the changes of logistic flow in the region and relayed the expectations of BSEC transporters for the facilitated international road transport to Azerbaijan authorities.
BSEC-URTA Delegation held a meeting with the ABADA Secretariat and Board Members and discussed to ways to strengthen the cooperation with the BSEC-URTA and IRU under the perspective of eCMR, TIR for the development of the Azerbaijan international transporters.
Afterward, BSEC-URTA Delegation was hosted by the Azerbaijan Vice Minister of Transport H.E. Mr. Rəhman Hummətov to discuss transport issues in the BSEC region.
Underlining the recent letter of BSEC Secretary General Ambassador Lazar Comenescu to the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary General Mehmet Uylukcu invited the Azerbaijan Ministry of Transport to take part in the BSEC permit system as an important transit country connecting BSEC to Central Asia.
H.E. Mr. Hummətov’s positive approach and his instruction to his Ministry to evaluate Azerbaijan’s participation in the BSEC permit system were sincerely welcomed by the BSEC-URTA Delegation.
In addition to the BSEC permit, The delegations also discussed the increased importance of the Middle Corridor and the necessity of increasing the capacity of vehicle crossings through Azerbaijan border crossing points. H.E. Mr. Hummatov heralded that the border of Azerbaijan with Russia, the Hanoba border after its construction, will serve the BSEC transporters as an additional border crossing point with adequate capacity. Another good news was about the Zangezur Corridor, construction in the corridor is expected to be finished by 2023 which will present a new transit itinerary to reach Central Asia.
BSEC-URTA Delegation was met by Mr. Kanan Mammadov, Head of the General Department of Management of Customs Control and Trade Facilitation State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In the meeting, especially digitalization of customs and transport documents was discussed focusing on the digitalization of TIR, eCMR, and the usage of TIR-EPD.
Mr. Kanan Mammadov shared that the pre-advanced information system for the carried goods will enter into regulation in a short period in Azerbaijan to increase and facilitate the border crossings. The delegations discussed the latest efforts of Azerbaijan Customs to strengthen logistic connections with China to improve the Middle Corridor.
BSEC-URTA visited next to the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and met with Mr. Mubariz Jabbarov, First Deputy Chairman who welcomed the BSEC-URTA delegation.
The delegations discussed the ways for the possibility of offering the BSEC transporters low-cost ferry prices, regular Ro-Pax trips in the Caspian Sea, and necessary cooperation and analysis between the organizations.
The BSEC-URTA also realized a site visit to Samur Customs, Border Crossing Point. The BSEC-URTA delegation observed queues of over 1.000 trucks that wait for their exit from Azerbaijan to Russia. The current truck daily crossing number in the exit direction is around 300. BSEC-URTA delegation observed an increased number of trucks directed to the Azerbaijan borders compared to the recent years. The number of trucks that will cross the Azerbaijan border is expected to increase by the starting season of fruit and vegetable export from Azerbaijan and Iran to Russia in the following weeks.
BSEC-URTA welcomed the single window processes applied at the border crossing point that contributed to the completion of customs procedures in 5-6 minutes on average. Erman Ereke examined the usage of TIR onsite and noted the requests and comments of the customs officials that are realizing customs operations for improving TIR-EPD for facilitated and accelerated border crossings.
As the decisions of the BSEC-URTA Border Crossing Working Group, The BSEC-URTA International Secretariat’s site visits to the BSEC border crossing points will continue thanks to its members.
Therefore, BSEC-URTA International Secretariat presents its gratitude, especially to BSEC PERMIS, ABADA, and ABADA’s president Mr. Habib Hasanov, who made this essential visit and observations possible.