Harmonization of Documents for International Transport: A Study in the Context of South and South-West Asia

Harmonization of Documents for International Transport: A Study in the Context of South and South-West Asia

Date: 
Friday, December 21, 2018
Type: 
Public information and advocacy materials
Abstract

Harmonization of Documents for International Transport:
A study in the context of South and South-West Asia - Simplification of documentary requirements, an important aspect of international transport facilitation, can have substantial impacts in terms of reducing transport costs and improving trade competitiveness. This is especially so in the case of the South and South-West Asian countries, where procedural reforms for easing cross-border transport remain far behind advanced subregions of the Asia-Pacific region. Against an examination of the existing documentary requirements and legal arrangements in the subregion, this paper provides options for harmonization of road transport documents through a step by- step approach. It outlines the key elements necessary for such harmonization based on modern electronic information systems. Among various options, the paper highlights solutions for dealing with transport permits and customs transit related documents. Employment of electronic vehicle/cargo tracking based on available models such as the ESCAP Secure Cross Border Transport Model can strongly support implementation of a subregional road permit system and paperless customs transit system. The paper also provides recommendations for the special case of documentary reforms for transit, which applies to the landlocked countries of the subregion including Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal, based on lessons from international models such as the European New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) and ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS). Given the complexities of harmonization of cross-border transport documents, the paper calls for cooperation among all competent authorities and stakeholders, including customs and the private sector, at the national and regional levels.

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SSWA Development Paper 1801_Final_201218Download