Trade Facilitation

As the six CAREC corridors are built, CAREC countries are working together to move people, goods, and vehicles across borders faster, more efficiently, and at least cost. Without these measures, the effectiveness of transport corridors is severely diminished.

The CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy presents a shared vision of transport and trade facilitation development in the region to 2017, identifying three trade facilitation goals:

  • reduce transaction time and costs significantly by improving administrative efficiency, and simplifying, standardizing, and harmonizing trade procedures;
  • encourage free movement of people and goods; and
  • enhance the transparency of laws, regulations, procedures, and forms, and share information on these and other trade issues.
Several CAREC countries are in the process of developing single-window facilities that will eventually allow traders to lodge information just one time via a single portal to fulfill all import- and export-related regulatory requirements. Ultimately, national single windows will exchange information regionally, expediting transnational journeys on CAREC corridors.

[Trade facilitation-related materials can be accessed at Senior Officials' Meetings and Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) meetings.]

Components of the Trade Facilitation Program

The Trade Facilitation program supports two major components:

  • Customs cooperation promotes concerted customs reforms and modernization, with the Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) serving as a regional forum to address issues of common interest. Main customs reform work areas are the following:
    1. Simplification and harmonization of custom procedures, as the core requirement of the revised Kyoto Convention.
    2. Information and communications technology for customs modernization and data exchange. Automation of customs systems (import, export, and transit declarations) will facilitate exchange of information, speeding clearance times and the movement of traffic across borders.
    3. Risk management and post-entry audit. An audit-based post-clearance and post-release control regime is a requirement of the revised Kyoto Convention. If supported by effective risk management systems and procedures, post-entry audit will reduce customs controls at the borders and enable more efficient allocation of scarce resources.
    4. Joint customs control. This is the initial step toward joint agency controls and eventually single-window controls that will allow traders to lodge information with a single body to fulfill all import- and export-related regulatory requirements.
    5. Regional transit development. Accession to the TIR Convention and efficient operations of TIR in CAREC are important. The work program will continue to support development of prudent bilateral and regional transit arrangements.
  • Integrated trade facilitation (ITF) aims to establish a regional mechanism to complement and strengthen the CCC process, building on interagency cooperation and partnership with the private sector. The ITF work program will focus on
    1. promoting the establishment of a national joint transport and trade facilitation coordinating committee (the national joint committee) and a CAREC regional joint transport and trade facilitation coordinating committee to engage a wider range of other national agencies involved in trade and border control;
    2. supporting the adoption of the single-window scheme to streamline transport, freight forwarding, trade logistics, and customs operations, and enhance the competitiveness of the CAREC countries; and
    3. implementing a corridor performance measurement and monitoring scheme to ascertain the current situation along the links and nodes of each CAREC priority corridor, identify bottlenecks, and determine courses of action to address such bottlenecks.