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Development Account Projects

Capacity Building for Control Authorities and Transport Operators to Improve Efficiency of Cross-border Transport in Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries


International trade is severely impeded by high transport costs and significant delays at border crossings between developing countries in Africa and Asia.  With fast development of transport infrastructure, non-physical barriers to smooth movement of goods and people become critical for economic and trade performance of the countries.  Common non-physical barriers along transit corridors include inconsistent and difficult border-crossing formalities and procedures, complicated documentation, high charges, restrictions and limitations on the entry of vehicles, the need for trans-shipment operations at borders, different standards for vehicles and drivers, restrictive visa requirements, duplicated inspections, lack of inter-country coordination, incompatible working hours at borders and a lack of coordination among various stakeholders.  Removal of the barriers requires coordinated policy, legal and institutional changes with joint efforts of government authorities and the business sector and appropriate facilitation tools.  The control authorities and transport operators in the developing landlocked and transit countries of these regions lack capacity to identify and address particular problems in their international transport corridors with application of facilitation tools

The proposed project is within the scope and priorities of the United Nations (A/64/6) and will directly contributes to the biennial programmes of ECA, ESCAP, UNECE and UNCTAD for the period 2010- 2011 and also strategic frameworks for the period of 2012-2013 as follows:

ESCAP Subprogramme 3: Transport, Expected Accomplishment (c) Increased capacity among ESCAP member States and regional industries to implement measures to improve the efficiency of international transport operations and logistics as well as road safety.

ECA Subprogramme 5: Economic cooperation and regional integration, Expected Accomplishment (b) Enhanced capacity of the African Union Commission and the regional economic communities, namely: the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) to implement relevant priorities of NEPAD, the African Union 10-year capacity-building programme and multi-year programmes developed with COMESA and CEN-SAD; and Subprogramme 1: Trade, finance and economic development , Expected Accomplishment (c) Enhanced capacity of member States to analyse, formulate and implement appropriate policies and strategies to address the challenges of globalization, including a better understanding of the implications of South-South cooperation for Africa's development.

UNECE Subprogramme 2: Transport, Expected Accomplishments (a) Strengthened legal and regulatory framework for international land transport covering road, rail, inland waterway and intermodal transport modes, as well as infrastructure and services, and border crossing facilitation, transport of dangerous goods, vehicle construction and other transport issues; and (d) Enhanced trade and transport facilitation with special attention to landlocked transition economies and their transit neighbours as a result of the extended implementation of the Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention).

UNCTAD Subprogramme 4: Technology and logistics, Expected Accomplishment (a) Improved efficiency of trade logistics of developing countries through, inter alia, strengthening of management of transport operations, coherent transit systems and trade facilitation, development and implementation of appropriate institutional and legal frameworks, and active participation of developing countries in transport and trade facilitation negotiations (Accra Accord, paras. 107 and 164-168)

This project aims at contributing to Millennium Development Goals No. 1, Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and No. 8, Develop a global partnership for development, and more specifically to its related Target 8C: To address the special needs of landlocked countries and small island developing states.

The project will also contribute to the implementation of the recommendations of the Declaration of African Ministers responsible for Transport on the MDGs as well as the achievement of transport targets and indicators related to the MDGs adopted by the ministers in April 2005 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


The project aims at contributing to providing land locked and transit developing countries with innovative and sustainable capacities to plan and implement regional transport facilitation initiatives. For this, it will identify and address barriers to smooth and efficient cross-border and transit transport operations along international transport corridors through, collaboration by stakeholders (including transport authorities, customs, immigration, quarantine, transport operators, and chambers of commerce) and application of innovative facilitation tools.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Enhanced capacity of national authorities/operators and regional commissions (including their subregional offices) to use the clusters as a collaborative institutional tool and the upgraded Time/Cost-Distance Methodology to identify bottlenecks in cross-border and transit transport and suggest solutions to the problems in participating countries.
  • Enhanced knowledge of stakeholders through sharing best practices between regions to adopt innovative facilitation measures and use new technologies in transport and border crossing control.

Implementation Status:

  1. UNCTAD cluster development methodology and ESCAP Time/Cost-Distance methodology upgraded as a comprehensive facilitation toolkit.
  2. Cluster members, cluster development coordinators and national supporting institutions for the project implementation identified in two countries in Central Asia.
  3. National training workshop for two participating Central Asian countries to create awareness of the CT-TPM Toolkit, build national capacity and form clusters for the application of the toolkit delivered.