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First South-North freight transit under TIR processed through Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A first South-North freight transit under TIR system has successfully processed through Iran.

A senior Iranian customs official says a first ever cargo passing through the so-called South-North corridor under an internationally guaranteed system of freight transit has been successfully accomplished.

Mostafa Ayati, who leads transit operations in the Iranian customs office, said on Sunday that the cargo, passing through Iran under TIR which is an international guarantee scheme enabling freight containers to travel without being checked, had reached its destination in Kazakhstan’s Kuryk port earlier in the day.

It was the first case of TIR freight transit through the South-North corridor, Ayati said, adding that the unidentified cargo had started its journey from the southeastern Iranian port of Chabahar on the Sea of Oman to arrive in the northern port of Amir Abad on the Caspian Sea earlier on Sunday before setting off for Kuryk.

The announcement means Iran has fully activated equipment needed to process roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) cargo ships in its northern ports.

That allows Iran to accommodate large container shipments that travel under the TIR system between the Indian Ocean and landlocked countries to its northeast.

Ayati said RoRo facilities are currently available in two major ports on the Caspian Sea, namely Amir Abad and Anzali, adding that freight can now transit under TIR from India through Iran to countries to the south of Russia, Central Asia and Northern Europe.

India has been trying to play a major role in Iran’s development plans for Chabahar, a port which is expected to become a major gateway for trade in few years’ time.

Iran has plans to build another major port on its southeastern coasts to allow very large container ships to be processed outside the Persian Gulf.  

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