Truck drivers spend more than half their working time at border crossings, hampering trade in Arab world, study finds
Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain customs officials are set to sign agreements with the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE (ATCUAE) to implement a new system to reduce time spent by trucks at UAE borders.
With the customs authorities in the five other Emirates already committed, the International Road Transport (TIR) System, which speeds up the movement of goods across borders, is on track to become operational in the UAE by the end of the year.
Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain will sign the agreements with the ATCUAE during a two-day International Road Transport Union (IRU) workshop on TIR, currently being held at the Hyatt Regency Dubai.
The system will help the country tackle long truck delays at border crossings, ATCUAE said in a statement. These delays significantly hamper intra-regional trade in the Arab World, which is currently at only 14% of the total trade in the region, according to a report commissioned by the IRU.
One of the factors behind this is the long waiting times at customs borders in the region. A survey based on the journals of 108 truck drivers revealed that more than 57% of the time taken during road trips was spent waiting in queues at borders, the report said.
The TIR system, which currently links 68 countries worldwide, uses standardised and reduced controls to minimise physical customs inspections. Last week, Pakistan confirmed it would implement the TIR system to boost trade and increase regional connectivity with Iran and Turkey by allowing free flow of goods between the countries.