Five times reduction in travel time to facilitate other exports too
Pakistan has started exporting mangoes to Russia after the time period to exchange perishable goods between the two countries was reduced to a mere seven days since a multinational export convention opened up the option of land route.
Pakistan Customs announced that the first consignment of White Chaunsa (a popular mango breed) to Russia has already been processed from Pakistan. The exporter of the consignment is Ishfaq & Co who procures from Okara and Sahiwal.
Islamabad signed the Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (in short, the TIR Convention) in August 2015. TIR Convention is a multilateral treaty that allows exports without paying Customs duties and taxes, according to a Dawn report. Pakistan ratified the convention in January 2016.
The Federal Board of Revenue said that it is one of the first endeavours to introduce Pakistani fresh fruits and indigenous goods to Russia.
It would help Pakistani traders to capture markets not only in Russia but also in Europe by using the shorter land route, the FBR said. Pakistan Customs is a part of the FBR.
The Russia bound consignment has left Pakistan at Taftan-Mirjawa (Iran) border and will arrive in Moscow via Tehran-Astara (Azebaijan)-Astrakhan (Russia) route, according to the FBR.
The road distance from Taftan to Moscow via Astara is 4,600 kilometres and it will be covered in about seven days.
“The instant TIR transportation will open this route for Kinnow exports as it will take about 10 days to reach Moscow via Tehran-Astara-Astra Khan route, while sea voyage on Karachi-St Petersburg route takes about 35 days,” said the FBR in a statement.
The reduction in distance will increase the export of Kinnow and other products to the Russian Federation and the EU, said FBR.
The Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets, or the TIR Convention, came into force in March 1978 and it replaced the original Transport Internationaux Routier (TIR) of 1959.
The TIR Convention 1975 is one of the most successful international transport conventions and is so far the only universal Customs transit system in existence. To date, it has 77 Contracting Parties, including the European Union and China. It covers the whole of Europe and extends to North Africa and the Near and Middle East. More than 33,000 operators are authorised to use the TIR system and around 1.5 million TIR transports are carried out per year.
The TIR Convention aims to facilitate international transit through simplified customs transit procedures and an international guarantee system. Using a single guarantee, customs procedure is completed at origin and destination rather than at each border crossing.