IRU Ready to Support Countries in Rebuilding Logistics and Trade Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The Secretary General of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) took part in a meeting of two groups of the World Free Zone Organization (World FZO). The agenda of the meeting was issues in the field of logistics and customs administration and freight brokerage school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The work of the 1st group was attended by D. Abney, Chairman of UPS, K. Logan, Director of DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World. The main topic of discussion was the mechanisms for restoring logistics and trade after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General, noted that special attention should be paid to digitalization processes in the field of cargo transportation and logistics. This will help adhere to the principles of social distancing and mitigate the impact of emergency/medical measures on waiting times at customs.
The IRU Secretary General also offered the Union’s support to states wishing to implement the eTIR system, which will greatly facilitate trade during the pandemic.
The 2nd group meeting was attended by about 3,000 people out of 154, including Lars Karlsson from KGH, Paul Hansen from UNCTAD and Loam Mashabi from Saudi Arabia Customs. The participants raised issues of the work of customs and border control in a pandemic. All speakers noted the need to transform the field of customs clearance procedures by introducing global tools that have already been developed to stimulate trade.
An example of such tools is TIR, which cut the time of crossing the border with the UAE by half. A fully digital system, through the introduction of eTIR and dedicated eTIR lanes, will further reduce waiting times, reduce costs for operators, and make cross-border trade easier and safer.
Recall that thanks to the TIR electronic advance declaration (EPD) system, almost 20 tons of dairy products were delivered from Saudi Arabia to Oman via the UAE. Delivery took only 20 hours, although it had previously taken more than three days.