ECO Transit Transport Framework Agreement 2013
Table of Contents
The primary purpose of the Economic Cooperation Organization Transit Transport Framework Agreement 2013 (Agreement) is to facilitate the safe movement of goods, luggage, and passengers through the territories of contracting parties while providing facilities for transit, transport, and promoting coordination and harmonization to avoid the incidence of customs fraud, and tax evasion, etc. Parties to this Agreement include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.
The Agreement applies to transit in traffic that begins or terminates in a contracting party’s territory. Traffic in transit by motor vehicles shall be exempted from customs duties, taxes, and other charges, except when charged for specific services rendered, such as tolls, road maintenance fees, etc.
Some of the key provisions of the Agreement introduce the following obligations on the contracting parties:
- Providing adequate facilities needed for road, rail, and inland navigation, as well as multimodal transport, such as combined transport terminals, border crossing points, gauge interchange stations, ferry-links, ports, navigation aids, and common radio frequencies.
- Undertaking all necessary safety measures in relation to traffic along specified transit routes.
- For the purposes of ensuring smooth movement of traffic in transit:
- Establishing posts at designated frontier areas with adjacent control areas to avoid excessive unloading and loading of carriers;
- Warehousing facilities for storage of goods;
- Providing adequate parking space for containers and trucks awaiting goods clearance;
- Making reliable mail and telecommunication services accessible; and
- Adopting a uniform set of consignment notes.
- In case of access to seaports, the parties must provide, as far as is possible, the necessary port facilities to other contracting parties at costs that should not exceed those paid by other foreign users of the port facility.
- Granting permission to transport companies engaged in transit services in their territories to establish offices to facilitate the operation of such traffic.
- Granting visas to drivers of vehicles engaged in international transit traffic operations, who, subject to ordinary visa requirements, will be granted multiple entry and transit visas that are valid for a period of one year with a right of staying in the territory of each contracting party for 15 days for each trip and for up to 5 more days in places of loading and discharge. This visa facility will also be extended if required due to illness of persons, or accident or damage to vehicles.
- Where there is a requirement for road transmit permits as a condition for carriage, such permits shall also be issued to carriers of contracting parties.
- Facilitating the requirements necessary for issuance of road transport permits for carriage of goods, passengers, and luggage in transit traffic, without any limitation or quota.
- Ensuring that means of transport used in road transit transport conform to the technical requirements regarding vehicle dimensions, maximum total weights with loads, axle load, and other parameters as are set out in Annex IV of the Agreement.
- Recognizing driving licenses issued by other contracting parties and corresponding to the Convention on Road Traffic, 1968.
- Recognizing certificates of roadworthiness issued by other contracting parties corresponding with the Convention on Road Traffic, 1968.
- Encapsulating an international compulsory motor vehicle third-party liability insurance scheme as specified in Annex V of the Agreement.
- Formulating ‘Rules of Use of Wagons’ keeping in view the framework of the Organization for Cooperation between Railways.
- Formulating rules and procedures for international rail passenger and freight traffic keeping in view the provisions of the Agreement on International Carriage of Passengers and the Agreement on International Carriage of Goods.
- Establishing a Customs Transit System for cargo and means of transport.
- Undertaking to harmonize and simplify their rules, regulations, and administrative procedures relating to transit transport in line with the provisions of the Agreement.