Web-conference on the Border Crossing Guide was held on 7 June 2018

07.06.2018

During the meeting it was discussed the current version of the draft TRACECA Border Crossing Guide in view of changes and amendments provided to the PS by the TRACECA concerned countries within the time limit stated in the Final Resolutions of the XIII IGC TRACECA Meeting.

In the course of the Meeting, Mr. Mircea Ciopraga, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA welcomed participants of the web-conference and addressed the Speech:

"Integration processes taking place nowadays are a natural process, conditioned by the current economic and political activity of the world community. One of the main tasks of our countries is to create favourable conditions for the further growth of national economies, the formation of a harmonized legal space that is oriented towards international standards.

The transport industry has always played an important role in the development of the economies of countries and regions. The dynamic development and effective functioning of transport as the most important branch of the economy is a necessary condition for achieving high and sustainable rates of trade - economic development and rational integration into the world economy.

At the same time, we must admit that the transport system in the region has a number of problems that hinder the positive development of this system. If these problems are not resolved in the near future, the current situation will lead to inefficiencies in transport, characterized by an unjustified increase in transportation costs, an unjustified increase in transportation time and a decline in the quality of transport services provided.

For the mastering the development of increased freight flows, the countries of our region need to join forces with the goal of further improvement of the existing transport corridors and searching for ways to expand its geography. In this process, the creation of attractive conditions for cargo transportation, is very significant and becomes possible only under the condition of multilateral cooperation, well thought-out and coordinated transport policy of all the countries involved and open access to the market.

Therefore, one of the key issues is the identification of unused potential, the impact of border crossing procedures on the intensity of freight flows, and other factors positive for commodity circulation, which ultimately has a positive effect on the competitiveness of transport corridors.

In recent years, the development of interregional transport has taken one of the central places on the agenda of many authoritative international organizations and annual transnational forums and conferences. 

Reliable transport networks and the development of transport to strengthen regional economic cooperation and stability are at the forefront of the activities of the civilized humanity.

At the same time, the significance of borders in the modern world has changed. The entry into the territory of a foreign state in some places has, unfortunately, become a complicated procedure and is often accompanied by an unjustifiably long wait on the border and a large number of delays, which leads to additional costs and a slowdown in economic growth. Unfortunately, bureaucratic procedures at the border lead to a rise in the cost of transport operations, impede the development of international trade and the growth of foreign investment. It is these reasons that formed the basis for the decision to issue the TRACECA Border Crossing Guide.

The purpose of its development is to expand the information on the tools that allow for more effective border management measures, both in terms of efficiency and trade facilitation, since the need to improve good management at border crossings is our topical task.

Thus, the promotion of regional trade and cross-border transport is one of the key factors of economic development, which in its turn contributes to the strengthening of regional stability and cooperation.

In addition, ensuring the continuity of cross-border transportation and the reliability of regional transport networks as part of the improvement of international transport corridors play an important role in overcoming such typical difficulties for our region as the lack of direct access to the world's oceans and, as a consequence, geographic dependence on transit services through the territory of contiguous countries.

Starting to prepare the Guide, we proceeded from the understanding that there is a considerable amount of knowledge and experience accumulated in a number of developed countries of the world where there is a positive practice. In recent years, significant progress has also been made in a number of our member countries in facilitating the movement of goods across borders, and in the creation of an integrated border management system, and in developing more effective initiatives.

This Guide will serve to the further dissemination of knowledge in this field and will allow the countries of the region and beyond to learn how other countries react to this problem and overcome the emerging difficulties. 

We hope that this publication will primarily serve as a reference for those responsible for the implementation of cross-border policies in our countries, as well as for the heads of customs and border services. In addition, the publication is also addressed to the representatives of transport companies, business circles and in generally to interested persons.

We expect that it will serve to the further development of the dialogue and will be a useful tool in improving border management practices aimed at facilitating the trans-boundary transportation of commercial cargo, while respecting the proper requirements of internationally recognized rules and laws.

We are confident that border crossings can be made more efficient and reliable, thus contributing to the development of trade and transport while reducing the scope of corruption, illegal trade and crime.

The situation at the border crossing points can be significantly improved if we are more actively engaged at the national and international levels in harmonizing the existing rules and procedures, establishing closer inter-agency cooperation and drawing attention to the importance of introducing international best practices.

We sincerely hope that this guide will serve as an exchange of experience and best practices, and will also help to formulate solutions that ensure more rapid border crossing.

I am convinced that our joint efforts will contribute constructively to the development of Europe-Asia transit in the creation and provision of high-quality, efficient, and reliable transport communications between Europe and Asia. 

Allow me once again to thank all the participants of the working group for the work done, to wish all further successes in the revival of the Great Silk Road".

In the end, Mr. Ciopraga expressed gratitude and congratulations to the Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine for the completion of the tasks upon the Annexes of the TRACECA Guide for Border Crossing.

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA