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EghtesadOnline: India will start exporting container cargo to Russia via Iran and Azerbaijan from next month, as it moves forward to operationalize the International North-South Transport Corridor, India’s Central Board of Excise and Customs Commissioner Rajendra Kumar said.

The move, he said, would cut down cargo transport time by half to nearly 17 days, from the earlier 35 days, using just the sea route.

“India will shift its first export consignment via Bandar Abbas to Russia from mid-January. It will probably transit Iran, Azerbaijan and then reach Russia,” Kumar was quoted as saying by the Indian newspaper Business Standard.

Indian Customs Department has been receiving a lot of enquiries from garments and pharmaceutical sectors for using this route, he said, adding that the route would help save money and time, Financial Tribune reported.

“This initiative will operationalize INSTC,” Kumar said.

Currently, one has to either use Rotterdam Port or land route via China to reach Russia and Central Asia. These are long, expensive and time-consuming routes. The International North-South Transport Corridor is a multi-mode network of sea, rail and road routes for moving freight among India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. The proposed 7,200-km-long corridor is expected to increase trade connectivity among the cities of Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan and Bandar Anzali.

Kumar said India has become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations TIR Convention for boosting trade and regional integration across South Asia and beyond, fast-tracking the region’s potential to become a strategic trade hub.

TIR–international road transport–is the global standard for goods customs transit managed and developed by the International Road Transport Union.


International North-South Transport Corridor India Container Cargo India Russia Rajendra Kumar