The 4th meeting of HLWG on KTAI and the 5th meeting of HLWG on ITI Road Corridors was held on 25 ,“ 26 November 2019 in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran hosted by under Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, Ministry of Road and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The meetings enabled to get together officials from the concerned authorities of the enroute countries including private sector of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, discussed and decided on practical issues requiring joint and uninterrupted collaboration between the enroute countries at post-study phase.
The meetings, beyond any doubts, took the participants to a great advantage to address the comprehensive regional strategy for sustainable development of road corridors in the region. In particular, the ECO Member States reviewed the study on the “Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran” (KTAI) and “Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul” (ITI) road corridors. Thus, the Member States, jointly with Representatives of IRU and ECO Secretariat, have endorsed the findings of the Study project.
The role of new technologies and digitalization of roads in using TIR carnets was noted by ECO Deputy Secretary General Mr. Kanan Nazarov in inaugural session. Boosting of infrastructure development along road corridors of ECO and expansion of logistics whilst reduction of transport costs in an emerging regional road transport market, were highlighted by Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr. Abdolhashem Hasannia. The Meeting came up with the following decisions/outcomes:
i. The study for the establishment of these two road corridors have been approved. Major Recommendations of the study to be followed by the enroute countries;
ii. Action Plan to serve as a framework for inter-agency interaction between consular, customs, transport, insurance authorities of the enroute countries and regular follow up;
iii. Principal support of the general concept of “KTAI and ITI Corridor visa pilot scheme” and possible setup of the proposed mechanism in parallel with existing visa procedures (Article 12 of TTFA);
iv. Decision on the test run of loaded trucks under TIR Carnets;
After the Meeting, a wrap-up discussion took place on 6 December 2019 at ECO Secretariat (Tehran) where next steps have been specified by both, ECO and IRU, as follow up measures on aforementioned Joint ECO-IRU Project on road corridors. In specific terms, soft and hard infrastructure was considered through visa facilitation, digitalization, and functioning of TIR green lanes along road corridors. In practical terms, digital TIR IT tools will be introduced in Afghanistan and Tajikistan while e-TIR pilot project between Iran and Turkey will be expanded to all TIR customs offices and all TIR transport operators and Pakistan will join Iran and Turkey in the e-TIR project.