Afghan and Iran officials have agreed to drop tariffs and scrap the bank guarantee letter system at Iranian borders for Afghan businesses.
At the sixth Joint Economic Meeting between Afghanistan and Iran, officials of both nations agreed that Afghan goods trucks can cross into Iran without having to present bank guarantee letters.
In addition, border tariffs will also decrease.
Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) officials on Monday said both sides recognize the need to implement the World Road Association agreement and to lower transit costs.
According to MoCI officials, the drop in tariffs will hopefully increase exports from Afghanistan to Iran and to India and Gulf countries.
“It was a productive meeting and scrapping the bank guarantee (regulation) for Afghanistan’s trucks has been a big achievement,” said MoCI spokesman Muafir Quqandi.
Statistics show that Iran has in recent times become a major trade partner to Afghanistan and that trade volume between the two countries has reached the $2 billion USD a year mark.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries spokesman Seyam Pesarlay said if border tariffs and processes are eased then Afghan traders will increase import and export trade through Iran.
“We want to use International Road Transports (TIR Convention) for exportation to Iran, some of Central Asian countries and some European countries,” said Pesarlay.
According to economic experts, expanding trade ties with neighboring countries will increase Afghanistan’s exports and will help break the tradition of Afghanistan having to rely on only one or two countries for imports and exports.
The TIR Convention is a multilateral treaty that was concluded in Geneva in 1975 to simplify and harmonize the administrative formalities of international road transport.
The TIR Convention establishes an international customs transit system with maximum facility to move goods. The TIR system not only covers customs transit by road but a combination is possible with other modes of transport, including rail, inland waterway, and even maritime transport, as long as at least one part of the total transport is made by road.