CBTA and TIR Convention

Cross-Border Transport Agreement & TIR Convention

The Cross-Border Transport of Persons, Vehicles, and Goods Agreement (CBTA) between Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic is aimed at facilitating commercial activities between the three countries with a view to stimulating regional job creation, balance economic growth, and generate public revenue. The CBTA possesses considerable potential to improve the Central Asian sub-region’s trade and transit policy/facilitation and investment environment, including by supporting improved customs collection efficiencies and establishing border liaison offices in these three countries. Designed around CAREC Transport Corridor #5, which connects Pakistan with China, CBTA has the potential to reduce the average transit costs between its signatories, lower import costs among them, and make exports more price competitive. As export prospects increase, measures to improve transport along this critical corridor are projected to lead to expanded growth opportunities for production and employment. These aspects were conducive to Afghanistan’s implementation of the International Road Transport TIR Convention (the Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets), which it ratified in 2013. The TIR system will address most of the current problems created by the customs offices of neighboring countries for the transit of Afghanistan’s commodities. The TIR will also facilitate the international transit and transport system as overseen by the International Transport & Road Organization, and govern transit and transport visas and licenses for sealed commercial commodities.

Current Status

The Government of Afghanistan signed the CBTA’s accession agreement on 10 December 2011, preceded by the Government of Tajikistan signing on 23 November 2011 and followed by the Kyrgyz Republic signing on 23 July 2013. However, the internal procedures of the contracting parties required the entry into force of the CBTA between the three countries have not yet been completed. Officials from these governments are interested in extending the current CBTA to Kazakhstan. Afghanistan has acceded to and implemented the TIR Convention, and with India’s accession it has become the 71st country to join the TIR convention. The TIR Convention allows Afghan trucks to travel more efficiently to distant markets by exempting customs guarantees during transit (until reaching their final destination). In order to streamline implementation of the TIR convention, a National Committee and Technical committee were formed and an implementation plan was prepared by the Ministry of Transport of Afghanistan and finalized by both committees. Finally, the TOR for line ministries are specified and last year 16 TIR Carnets were distributed by the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Budget & Funding Status n/a
Institutional Partners Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, The Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and the Asian Development Bank, USAID

Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:

  • Extend the CBTA to Kazakhstan in order to expand regional transport opportunities.
  • Complete the internal procedures required for entry into force of the Agreement.
  • Encourage other regional countries to complete their accession to the TIR Convention.
  • International partners including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are encouraged to provide additional technical assistance in order to facilitate further CBTA negotiations.