Member countries of the Organization of Turkic States have completed ratification of the agreement on the creation of a simplified customs corridor, which provides for the integration of information systems of Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Report informs.

Kazakhstan, which this week also approved joining the simplified customs corridor, was the last country to do so.

The agreement on a simplified customs corridor is intended to facilitate foreign trade activities along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (Middle Corridor). Today, the lion’s share of foreign trade not only of Kazakhstan, but also of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan passes through two main corridors: through the Russian Federation to Europe and through China.

The new agreement is aimed at developing a third corridor – the Trans-Caspian one, which passes through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Türkiye. From 2010 to 2022, trade between the countries participating in this agreement tripled. This indicates great potential for further growth.

Today, for Kazakhstan, the volume of trade with these Turkic countries is almost $13 billion, and 70% of this amount comes from Kazakhstan’s exports to these countries. The simplified customs corridor has the following advantages: trade operators will receive priority service at checkpoints, which will reduce waiting time; customs clearance procedures will be optimized using separate lanes, further reducing clearance time; customs inspection will be carried out only in cases where a risk of violation of customs legislation is identified, which will reduce downtime and costs.

The agreement on a simplified customs corridor does not limit either specific industries or the choice of goods for customs clearance. This means that traders can use simplified procedures for all types of goods.

After ratification of the agreement on the creation of a simplified customs corridor, a six-month pilot project will be implemented. During this time, the customs structures of the five countries will fully work out all the technical, administrative and legal aspects of the new system. After the pilot project is completed, the system will be fully operational.

Azerbaijan, Türkiye, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan ratified this agreement back in 2023.