Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CAREC Institute partnered with the Azerbaijan State Customs Committee to conduct the subregional workshop that aims to discuss the application of specific customs-related provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.
In the opening remarks, World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya, Azerbaijan State Customs Committee Chairperson Safar Mekhdiyev, Azerbaijan Deputy Minister of Economy Rufat Mammadov, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Azerbaijan Country Director Nariman Mannapbekov encouraged officials to explore ways to better implement the WTO TFA and share experiences to improve overall trade in the region.
About 45 officials from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan participated in the workshop.
Resource speakers from ADB, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, WCO, and General Administration of People’s Republic of China Customs, shared expertise on the features of selected TFA provisions, including articles on Advance Ruling, Authorized Economic Operators, and Coordinated Border Management and Transit.
Country representatives also shared the status of their respective National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF), and were guided to formulate preliminary action plan to institutionalize their respective NCTFs, as well as improve coordination among government agencies involved.
Regional transit experts also shed light on the options and opportunities to effectively implement transit regimes in the CAREC countries. Participating countries of the CAREC Advanced Transit System (CATS) Trilateral Agreement discussed the revised text, pending issues, and proposed schedule for the CATS/Information Common Exchange program, with the view to finalize the trilateral agreement this year.