Chabahar Port Current Affairs - 2019
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The first shipment under the United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Chabahar Port of Iran.
What is Transports Internationaux Routiers’ Convention?
The Transports Internationaux Routiers is an international Convention aimed at harmonising the administrative formalities of international road transport.
The goods being moved through the TIR convention requires the goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments. The customs officials only verify the carnet and check the seal without requiring physical checking of the contents. This enables shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.
Reciprocal recognition of customs controls is at the heart of the TIR Convention. The convention enables a facilitative and non-intrusive environment for multi-modal transport of goods through several countries. India had joined the TIR Convention in 2017.
Benefits of the Convention
- The convention acts as a strong catalyst for moving goods using the multi-modal transportation route like Chabahar and International North-South Transport (INSTC) Corridor.
- The convention offers a great opportunity for the landlocked countries by providing seamless border crossing facilitation and intermodal capabilities.
- The convention further aids in the implementation of the Trade facilitation agreement of the World Trade Organisation.
In India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has been appointed as the National Issuing & Guaranteeing Association.
Afghanistan has launched a new export route to India through the through the Chabahar Port of Iran. 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from western Afghan city of Zaranj to Iran’s Chabahar port. The consignment would be then shipped to Mumbai.
Chabahar port is seen as a testimony of healthy cooperation between India, Iran and Afghanistan this will ensure economic growth. The Chabahar Port of Iran provides easy access to the sea for Afghanistan. India has invested in the development of this route as well as Chabahar port. This route allows both India and Afghanistan to engage in trade bypassing Pakistan.
Afghan exports to India stood at $740 million in 2018 and India is the largest export destination for Afghanistan. The new route is one of the many initiatives undertaken by the governments of India and Afghanistan to enhance trade relations.
To boost the trade relations, both India and Afghanistan had established an air corridor in the year 2017. The opening of new avenues for Afghanistan to trade with India will aid Afghanistan in to reduce its trade deficit.
After the withdrawal from JCPOA and reimposing of sanctions on Iran, US had granted an exception for the development of Chabahar port since the new transportation corridor could contribute significantly for Afghanistan’s economy and meet their needs of non-sanctionable goods such as food and medicines.