Afghanistan, Iran Reach New Customs Deal

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Tehran (BNA) Heads of Afghan and Iranian customs offices have entered into a preliminary agreement for creation of a transit-oriented green customs path.
The agreement was reached during a meeting in Tehran between Deputy Economy Minister and the Head of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration (IRICA) Masoud Karbasian and his Afghan counterpart Ahmad Reshad Popal.
The implementation of the deal will turn Chabahr port city to an exports and imports hub for Afghanistan providing Afghan traders and economic activists with the opportunity to transit goods in the shortest possible time.
Accordingly, activation of Chabahar Free Trade Zone will offer more suitable conditions for economic activity in several border cities of the two neighboring countries.
Iran’s Karbasian said at the meeting “as two ancient countries, Iran and Afghanistan enjoy common cultures and languages and development of Afghanistan would mark an honor for Iran since expansion of bilateral relations will create deeper ties between the two states.”
IRICA head, while urging the Afghan side to remove obstacles at Mahirud border markets, said “India-Afghanistan-Iran path marks one of the best transit corridors and the visit of Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to Chabahar indicates its importance to the neighboring country.”
Karbasian went on to enumerate major axes for expansion of customs ties between the two parties including provision of draft for a new customs agreement, electronic exchange of customs data as well as creation of joint border gates.
Director General of Afghanistan Customs Department Ahmad Reshad Popal, for his part, said the meeting mainly aims to create excellent trade and transit ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran; “more facilities need to be provided with further collaboration between customs of the two sides.”
“Existing barriers can be removed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),” highlighted the Afghan official proposing the idea of adding a customs office to boost trade between Iran and Afghanistan.”
Reshad Popal expressed satisfaction towards available infrastructure in border areas and outlined Chabahar as the best transport corridor for his country.

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