Govt tightens Afghan transit trade rules

Strict enforcement of ATT routes; mandatory registration of transport operators

Irshad Ansari May 26, 2024
In this picture taken on September 11, 2023, trucks are seen parked along a road near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Torkham, after the Torkham border closed on September 6, 2023, following clashes between border forces of both countries. PHOTO: AFP


The government on Friday decided to strictly implement the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) facility, enforcing rules that allow cargo movement only through the previously agreed routes and mandating the registration of transport operators for the Temporary Entry Document (TED) pass.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued amendments to the Customs Rules, 2001, stipulating that Afghan goods would henceforth move only through the routes specified in the ATT agreement. No other routes—whether sea or land—would be permitted for ATT goods.

According to a document seen by The Express Tribune, authorized transport operators delivering ATT goods must register with the Directorate of Transit Trade offices in Peshawar and Quetta to obtain temporary entry documents (TED) for entering Pakistan.

Read Border challenges stall Pakistan-Afghanistan trade

To obtain the TED, transport operators must provide a certified copy of the computerized national identity card of the vehicle’s owner, the vehicle registration book, the vehicle fitness certificate, and a declaration of responsibility for the safe transportation of import and export goods under transit trade.

Drivers and cleaners of the vehicles transporting goods are exempted from any fees. The document stated that the TED would include the date of issue and expiry. For an extension of the TED, the relevant country would need to be approached through the Transportation and Commercial Office.

The document further explained that if a vehicle was damaged in an accident or if the driver or cleaner of the vehicle was injured or fell ill during the journey and needed to stay beyond 30 days, the matter would be referred to the concerned country.

The ATT Agreement, signed between Pakistan and Afghanistan, is designed to facilitate the smooth transit of goods between the two countries, thereby boosting economic activity. However, over the years, the ATT has faced numerous challenges, including issues of smuggling and the use of unauthorized routes.


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