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"Ensuring mobility and integrity of supply chains in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as a key to sustainable economic development of countries"

16.03.2021

It was noted on March 15, 2021, during a high-level meeting of the Secretaries General of IRU, BSEC, TRACECA, Turkic Council, and ECO.

Hi Level Meet

During the exchange of views, the Secretaries General of IRU, BSEC, TRACECA, Turkic Council, and ECO discussed the main items of the Agenda, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global and regional economy, including the road transport sector.

Unilaterally imposed restrictions on trade in goods, especially those targeting truck drivers at borders, have severely affected supply chains and drivers' health, without preventing the virus spreading.

Taking into account the impact of the pandemic the Secretaries General noted with great regret the significant economic decline.

The participants of the meeting exchanged information on the status of the countries' implementation of recovery measures in the IRU, BSEC, TRACECA, Turkic Council, ECO regions. At the same time, the discussions touched upon the possibility of considering the problematic issues and the action plan at the highest governmental level.

"Throughout the year, we have been closely following the situation at the borders and the restrictive measures taken in the countries of the TRACECA corridor. In some countries, vehicles stood idle for more than two weeks to comply with the quarantine regime, which led to delays in the delivery of goods and disruption of contracts due to the violation of supply chain integrity. Taking into consideration the best practices of organizing the safe and uninterrupted movement of road transport, in order to ensure maximum harmonization of transport requirements, in 2020 the Permanent Secretariat prepared the Harmonized Conditions for the Transport of Goods under the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic approved by the countries," - said Mr. A. Assavbayev, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA.

Current conditions have shown that national requirements have come to the forefront, despite previous agreements reached between countries within the framework of international conventions to ensure the coordinated actions in the implementation of cargo transportation.

"When developing amendments to existing international agreements, the focus of priorities should be shifted towards multilateral and joint actions given the development of various scenarios, where the freedom of transit and the rejection of restrictive measures will be primarily ensured," – Mr. A. Assavbayev added.  

On the outcome of the high-level meeting, a Joint Statement was adopted, within which the Secretaries General of IRU, BSEC, TRACECA, Turkic Council, ECO call on the countries to maintain the capability of international mobility and supply chains, while ensuring safe working conditions for transport workers, to encourage the use of digital tools including e-TIR, e-CMR, e-ticketing to facilitate the movement of goods and passengers across borders without physical contact and the creation of a network of designated focal points among member states to enhance coordination and cooperation.     

Published:

Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA