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Developments in information and communication technologies (ICT), satellite positioning systems (SPSs), cellular communication systems (CCS), radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, geographical information systems (GIS) and advances in web based software with visual graphics and other user friendly features, offer a tremendous potential to deal with major challenges in cross-border transport. Combined use of these technologies can secure and track vehicles and goods in real time, thereby allowing control authorities to take timely action.

Many countries in the region are using either part or all of these technologies to address various aspects of transport. For example, China and Viet Nam have made installation of an SPS device compulsory for vehicles transporting dangerous goods and passengers. Electronic seals (e-Seal) are being used extensively to secure and track the movement of containers in China, the Republic of Korea and Thailand. The Customs authorities in Shenzhen, China, Hong Kong, China and Thailand are using tracking systems based on these technologies to facilitate the movement of bonded goods between the Customs zones and for transport of containers from inland places to border crossings.

In view of the above, the purpose of the Secure Cross-Border Transport Model (hereinafter referred to as ‘the model’) is to provide a tool for developing a secure, smooth and efficient system for cross-border movement of goods and vehicles. The system may help alleviate the concerns of the control authorities and allow them to provide a more facilitated environment for cross-border transport.

Non-physical barriers are a major challenge to growth in intra-regional trade and transport in Asia and the Pacific. The developments in information and communication technologies offer tremendous potential to deal with these barriers in cross-border and transit transport. Various technologies are already in use to secure and track the movement of vehicles and goods, but their use in cross-border and transit transport is minimal. The Secure Cross-Border Transport Model developed by ESCAP uses technologies such as global positioning systems, cellular communication systems, geographical information systems, radio frequency identification, advanced web based software(s), electronic seals and computer network to provide a conceptual basis for design of the system that can be used to facilitate cross-border transport while addressing the pressing concerns of the control authorities. The model provides standardized technical solution to enhance confidence of control authorities on cross-border transport movement of goods and vehicles and also suggests necessary institutional arrangements to support the combined application of new technologies.

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