The Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities and the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) presented in Vienna on 22 February, 2012 a jointly produced handbook on border crossing policies.
The OSCE-UNECE Handbook of Best Practices at Border Crossings – A Trade and Transport Facilitation Perspective offers a rich array of reference material and more than 120 best practice examples at border crossings. It covers available legal instruments, inter-agency and international co-operation, balancing security and facilitation measures, processing of freight, risk management, design of border crossing points, use of ICT technologies, human resource management and benchmarking.
The target audience of the publication are officials in transport, trade and finance ministries, customs agencies; transport, freight and logistics business communities; civil society and researchers.
“This publication is a useful tool which aims to help improve and harmonize practices at border crossings,” said Goran Svilanovic, Co ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities. “In the current difficult economic times, improving procedures at borders would bring about a higher efficiency and would lower the costs without large financial investments,” he emphasized.
Eva Molnar, Director of the Transport Division of the UNECE, added that the handbook would help to facilitate legal trade and stop illegal trade, as well as cut the red tape. “It is more than just a best practice guide,” she said. “It is unique in the sense that its authors relied a lot on individual countries’ contributions, and the publication combines theoretical and practical knowledge of our two organizations.”
The publication was produced with financial contributions from Belgium, France, Finland, Kazakhstan and the U.S.
The handbook is currently available in English at http://www.osce.org/eea/88200 and http://www.unece.org/trans/publications/wp30/best_practices.html, and will soon be made available also in Russian.