Azerbaijan, Iran launch new infrastructure project with online technology

June 23, 2019

TEHRAN -- Azerbaijan and Iran have launched a new transportation-related infrastructure project known as “e-TIR,” which envisages the full electronic transit operations at the Astara border crossing between the two Caspian region neighbors, Caspian News reported on Friday.

“The advantages of this online project are competitive and mechanized exchange of goods, accelerated transportation, reduction of violations and the elimination of administrative bureaucracy,” head of Iran's Customs Administration Mehdi Mirashrafi said.

He added that the same project will be implemented between Iran, Afghanistan, India, Russia and Georgia in the near future.

Seventy-six countries are members of the TIR Convention, which was established in 1959 and provides for an internationally recognized procedure to facilitate cross-border transportation of goods. The convention is administered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

In 2003, the “e-TIR Project” was launched, aimed at providing an exchange platform for all actors (customs authorities, holders, guarantee chains) involved in the TIR system, known as the e-TIR international system. The effort leverages digital technology, promoting computerization of customs controls that cross international roads. It also deals with customs regulation issues, using modern electronic methods.

The e-TIR system allows two countries to access information at any time, and view cargo information before delivery, helping to eliminate the risk of deception and accelerate customs formalities, as well as reduces costs.

In October 2018 and January 2019, Azerbaijan and Iran signed documents concerning basic principles for the use of an e-government-type system for the international transportation of goods. The basic principles paved the way for the creation of legislation that will lead to the e-TIR Pilot project, set a time frame for its launch, and conducting training for customs officers on the use of the electronic system.

Iran has already implemented e-TIR Pilot projects with Turkey and Pakistan.

SB/MG