The 8th Meeting of the ECO Transit Transport Coordination Council (TTCC), the 8th Meeting of the Road Committee of TTCC, and the 5th Meeting of the Customs Transit Committee of TTCC were held on 14-16 November 2016 at the ECO Secretariat in Tehran. The meetings were attended by the delegations from nine ECO Member States, namely, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey and Turkmenistan. Representatives of IRU and ECO Secretariat also attended the meetings.
The Road Committee of TTCC reviewed the implementation of decisions of its 7th Meeting (Ankara, 11th November 2015) as well as the implementation of road-related provisions of the TTFA. The representative of the ECO Secretariat briefed the Meeting on the progress with implementation of decisions of the previous Meeting of the Road Committee and also on “ECO Visa Exemption Sticker Scheme”, negotiated in a recent meeting of ECO Consular Officials held in the Secretariat on 4th October 2016. The Secretariat informed the Committee that the Consular Officials meeting agreed to work on the basis of the text introduced by the Secretariat. The Member States informed and reviewed progress on accession to/implementation of the relevant international instruments, including (CMR) of 1956 and (ADR) of 1957. Updates on ECO’s ongoing activities/measures with regard to establishing road transit corridors, notably between Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) and between Kyrgyz Republic-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran (KTAI) and other initiatives taken to identify major non-physical obstacles, including visa related issues, were also provided by the ECO Secretariat.
The 5th Meeting of the Customs Transit Committee of TTCC was opened by the Statement made by the Secretary General of ECO, in which he welcomed all participants and expressed satisfaction that the collective efforts of ECO Member States have reached fruition and the long awaited customs study, the missing link of the TTFA joint project of ECO and IDB, has been completed. The Secretary General subsequently encouraged all delegates to brainstorm on the modality of following up the results of the Study and providing the guidance and a mandate to the Secretariat on a roadmap, including on a mechanism to follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the report. Subsequently, the representative of the ECO Secretariat made a detailed presentation about ECO-IDB Feasibility Study on Customs in which she deliberated on the sources and the methodology utilized, customs procedures of ECO Member States, issues being faced, remedial measures and requirements to meet the international conventions/agreements and recommendations/Plan of Action for modernization of customs border crossing points.
The Meeting Mandated the Secretariat to regularly assess and provide progress report to the Customs Committee of TTCC. The Meeting also reviewed the Implementation of Customs related provisions of the TTFA and considered the latest developments of the ECO Member States on accession/implementation of the related necessary conventions.
The 8th Meeting of the Transit Transport Coordination Council (TTCC) considered and unanimously approved the Reports of the technical committees of the TTCC, namely, Report of the 8th Meeting of the Road Committee, Report of the 5th Meeting of the Customs Transit Committee, and Report of the 1st Senior Consular Officials’ Meeting on Facilitation of Visa for Drivers. The 8th TTCC Meeting also approved the recommendations and Plan of Action contained in the feasibility Study and the mandate provided to the Secretariat on their follow-up. The Meeting also approved the Programme of the TTFA Fund for 2017.