By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) on Monday said that Afghanistan is an active member of the International Road Transport (TIR) Convention, but challenges failed it to benefit from the Convention facilities.
Minister of Commerce and Industries, Humayon Rasa, said that despite of signing agreements with TIR member countries, still Afghanistan face some problems.
Speaking at three-day roundtable conference titled “Facilitation of International Transport and Transit in Afghanistan” he said that discussion of transit challenges and solutions would be on top of the agenda in the conference.
Lack of awareness about TIR facility is another challenge that needs to be addressed, he added.
The deputy chief of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Mr Bahman, said that Afghanistan reactivated its TIR membership in 2013, but due to different challenges failed to benefit from the TIR.
He said that visa problem in the countries on the route, road pass and scarcity of infrastructures for TIR services are the main barriers.
“To take road pass Afghan traders must pay $800 while others only pay $200. It is a serious problem. Imbalances in road pass provision will create limitation in competition for Afghans. Thus, the government shall address these challenges,” he insisted.
Policy Deputy of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Jarullah Mansori, said that Afghanistan is introduced as a war-torn country by the media; therefore, benefiting from the TIR is a good opportunity to introduce soft face of the country to the region and the world.
He said that through TIR trust should be build and investment in Afghanistan must be encouraged.
Head of Enterprise Union, Rahmuddin Agha, complained of the transit challenges in the neighboring countries and asked the relevant authorities to take steps to resolve the problems.
He said that Afghan dry and fresh fruit as well as carpets could not be exported easily due to transit related challenges in Pakistan, Iran and Uzbekistan.
“From other countries trucks are coming to Afghanistan without any problem, but from this side they go empty and do not carry goods to other countries. Thus, such issues should seriously be addressed,” he underlined.
The countries which are member of TIR must follow the rules and regulations, he said.
Afghanistan earned its membership to the TIR in 1983, but due to decades of war the country failed to capably use the system. After collapse of Taliban regime the dialogue over TIR membership reactivation has been started by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) with the International Road Transport Union (IRU). Afghanistan succeeded in reactivating its membership in 2013.