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Development Account Projects

Strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries  with economies in transition to facilitate legitimate border crossing, regional cooperation and integration


Crossing borders has always been a problem in international transport and trade. Despite recent improvements, international transport still faces obstacles, costs and difficulties at borders. Border crossing problems most severely affect landlocked developing countries, as they seriously impede access by those countries to the global market and lead to substantial losses for the national economies. The competitiveness of those countries is undermined by cumbersome customs and other control procedures. Overall, limitations to trade and transport facilitation are detrimental to economic growth, regional cooperation and integration.
Control authorities at borders face security challenges related to smuggling, terrorism, illegal trade and immigration. In view of the present large volume of cross-border transport operations, customs authorities are no longer in a position to control every vehicle or container. Instead, they have to apply risk management and identify high-risk consignments on the basis of available data. However, the data provided for risk analysis in a given country could potentially be falsified or intended to mislead customs officials. Often, the most reliable data on the goods transported is available at the customs offices of departure at the origin of a transit movement following an export procedure. To the extent possible, these data should be collected and made available to the customs authorities of transit and destination countries through a common electronic data interchange system prior to the arrival of the goods. The availability of advance electronic cargo information and the establishment of customs-to-customs network arrangements have been identified as cornerstones of the global supply chain security by the World Customs Organization.
Currently, only a few international conventions provide a legal basis for the exchange of information related to the international transport of goods. Among those, the ECE Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR (Transit International Routier) Carnets (TIR Convention) has the broadest geographical scope (67 countries worldwide). The exchange of electronic information is being addressed in the framework of the so-called eTIR project, which has been administered by ECE since 2002. The eTIR project aims at full computerization of the transit international routier procedure and will eventually replace customs paper documents by exchange of a set of electronic messages. The requirements of the necessary electronic systems have already been determined, including the establishment of a centralized customs-to-customs information network.
On the basis of the work already carried out by the eTIR project and its innovations, the proposed project aims at implementing and strengthening the capacity to use a versatile customs-to-customs information network in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This will ensure a secure exchange of information related to goods in transit under cover of the transit international routier procedure. The network will be designed to facilitate, in the long term, the exchange of customs-to-customs and business-to-customs information globally. The sustainability of such a network will be ensured through a minimal fee-for-use. The secure electronic exchange of customs-to-customs information will lead to increased security and reduced border crossing delays.


Facilitate legitimate trade and transport from and to developing countries and countries with economies in transition through an extended use of international standards and making use of the latest information and communication technologies to increase cooperation between Customs authorities and C2C electronic information exchange, while further securing the collections of duties and taxes by Customs.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased capacity to exchange secure electronic C2C transit information by the pilot countries with their neighbouring countries and trade partners
  • Increased capacity to utilize international standard electronic messages in the field of transit procedures by the pilot countries and their neighbouring countries, in particular B2C information.

Implementation status:

In progress.