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Trade in ECO region hindered by border crossings


20 Jan 2012



Preliminary analytical results of the joint IRU- ECO initiative to monitor trade via international road transport confirm the need to urgently implement the key UN multilateral trade and road transport facilitation instruments, as 30% of transport time is lost at borders while ‘unofficial payments’ account for 28% of transport costs.

Istanbul - On the occasion of the 173rd meeting of the Council of Permanent Representatives of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the mid-term results of the joint IRU-ECO Regular Monitoring of Trucks / NELTI 3 were presented, revealing that on average, 29.9% of transport time is lost at borders, while 28.3% of transport costs, excluding fuel, are due to ‘unofficial payments’

These significant barriers reduce the average speed of trucks to a staggering 14.5 km/h across the ECO region, which dramatically hinders the development of trade in and between ECO countries. This loss is ultimately borne by the ECO economies and their citizens. 

Such compelling findings clearly confirm the need to urgently implement the key UN trade and international road transport facilitation instruments such as the Harmonization and TIR Conventions, increase cooperation between ECO transit States, introduce an ECO multilateral transport permit system, and provide multi-entry and transit visas for professional commercial drivers.

Launched in June 2011 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the ECO-RMT/ NELTI 3 aims to collect – in line with the UNESCAP Time/Cost-Distance methodology - and analyse data on the current conditions of international cargo deliveries by road transport in the ECO region in order to identify the main impediments and non-physical barriers to its international road transport.

The ECO/IRU final report and recommendations for National Action Plans of the ECO Member States will be published in April 2012.

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Read the summary of ECO-RMT / NELTI 3 preliminary results.

Watch the video of the project

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Press contact: Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07,



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