More borders reopening while taking preventive measures against coronavirus

May 30, 2020 - 10:44

TEHRAN- More borders of Iran with its neighbors, which are some major trade partners of the Islamic Republic, are being reopened, while considering the health protocols regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA)’s spokesman has announced that Iran’s borders with Turkmenistan will be reopened on June 1 amid the coronavirus global pandemic by fully observing health protocols, Mehr news agency reported.

If measures taken jointly by Iran and Turkmenistan are approved, Iranian borders with Turkmenistan will be reopened on June 1, Rouhollah Latifi added.

Turning to the latest situation of borders of the country, he stated, “Pakistan is authorized to accept 20 Iranian trucks every other day through borders and marketplaces including Pishin, Jalagh, Koohak border crossings. In addition, about 75 Iranian trucks are admitted every other day through Pakistan’s Mirjaveh border crossing.”

Iran’s trade and business activities with neighboring Afghanistan through borders of Milak, Dogharoun and Mahirud have been restricted due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, he said, adding that it is predicted that Iran’s trade activity with Afghanistan will be resumed soon.

Afghanistan has announced its readiness for Iran-Afghanistan-Tajikistan and Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan transit routes and transit trucks can start their activities via this route to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan provided that Iranian borders are reopened with Turkmenistan, IRICA spokesman stressed.

Shalamcheh border to be reopened next week

After over 50 days, the Iraqi officials voiced readiness to reopen the Shalamcheh border crossing in Basra province (southern Iraq) in the coming week, according to the Mehr news agency.

The deputy director of the Shalamcheh border crossing in Basra Province Adnan Abdullah told Iraqi media that after joint meetings with the Coronavirus Combat Headquarter of the country, the Shalamcheh border is decided to be reopened during this week.

He further noted that vehicles and trucks are expected to be disinfected in a healthcare center in the Shalamcheh border.

Adnan Abdullah expressed hope that the two countries could resume their trade after preventive measures against coronavirus are completed within the next week.

A Presiding Board Member of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Seyyed Hamid Hosseini reportedly said that Iraqi officials also promised to reopen the Mehran border crossing within the next week.

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iraq, Shalamcheh border crossing and other borders in the central government as well as the borders of the Iraqi Kurdistan region have been closed.

Shalamcheh International Border is 15 km away from Khorramshahr and 20 km from Basra, Iraq, and is the most prominent border crossing point in Khuzestan province for trading transactions.

While Iran’s borders are being reopened, the county’s trade with its neighbors is being resumed as well.

On May 16, Deputy Head of Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce Amanollah Shahnavazi said that the two countries’ border bazaars are gradually resuming activities following the reopening of the border crossings.

The Mirjaveh border (Pakistan's official border with Iran) has been open for two days and border markets are gradually reopening, Shahnavazi said.

Shahnavazi also noted that since the reopening of the Mirjaveh border, about 23 trucks that were registered at the customs system last year, have been able to enter Pakistan.

Pakistan first closed its eastern and western borders with Iran, Afghanistan, and India on March 15 to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The border markets of Iran and Pakistan are mostly based in Sistan-Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran.

The bazaars of the province are located in Mirjaveh, Kuhak, Pishin, Jaleq, and Riman.

Also on May 5, Head of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration Mehdi Mir-Ashrafi held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Riza Tuna Turagay, via video conference on Tuesday, to discuss reopening of trade borders with the implementation of health and safety protocols.

As reported by IRIB, readiness to exchange health protocols for reopening trade borders, importing goods from Sarisu trans-boundary market, implementation of the third phase of the e-Tir electronic project in all customs offices of the two countries, online exchange of information and X-ray in shared borders were among the important topics of discussion in the said meeting.

Mir-Ashrafi urged Turagay to take all the necessary measures to ensure the reopening of the two countries’ borders.

“The World Trade Organization (WTO) stated that trade borders between countries should not be closed under any circumstances”, the official stressed.

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