L-r: Alexey Stukalo, Deputy Co-ordinator and Head of Economic Activities, Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities; Eva Molnar, Director, UNECE Transport Division and Didem Dirlik, Head of Department, Ministry of Customs and Trade of the Republic of Turkey, during a side event on border crossing procedures at the 2012 Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum, Leipzig, 3 May 2012. (OSCE/Gabriel Leonte)
LEIPZIG, Germany, 3 May 2012 – Participants at an OSCE side event at the 2012 Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum discussed ways to ensure more effective border crossing procedures.
The side event was co-organized by 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).
Senior officials from transport ministries, representatives of international transport associations and freight forwarding and logistics experts discussed how to better implement main conventions in the transport and customs fields, reach better balance between security and border crossing facilitation measures, strengthen co-operation with the private sector, improve risk analysis, use non-intrusive inspection methods and optimize and harmonize customs procedures as well as modernize border infrastructure. Speakers from Belarus and Turkey highlighted their national experiences of reforming their border crossing practices.
Alexey Stukalo, Deputy Co-ordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, said: “Border crossings, if properly organized and managed, are a key element for secure and seamless transportation.”
“Many problems such as delays, long waiting times for trucks and corruption in customs can be minimized by improving and harmonizing border crossing procedures, which do not require large investments.”
Key issues from the recently released OSCE-UNECE Handbook of Best Practices at Border Crossings – A Trade and Transport Facilitation Perspective were presented to the event participants.
Eva Molnar, Director of the UNECE Transport Division, said: “Inefficient, ‘thick’ borders slow down the development of trade. The OSCE-UNECE Handbook is meant to be a reference source for governments who want to take action to increase efficiency and cut costs. Such action is surely needed, as billions of dollars are being wasted due to the lack of facilitation measures at borders.”
The International Transport Forum Summit is held annually in Leipzig, under the auspices of the OECD and hosted by the Government of Germany. This year’s meeting theme was ‘Seamless Transport: Making Connections’.
Handbook on the OSCE website: http://www.osce.org/eea/88200
Handbook on the UNECE website: http://www.unece.org/trans/publications/wp30/best_practices.html
International Transport Forum website: http://2012.internationaltransportforum.org/