Azerbaijan completing integration of requirements of Quality Charter for Int’l Road Haulage Operations into domestic legislation
Azerbaijan is completing the process of integrating the requirements of the Quality Charter for International Road Haulage Operations into the domestic legislation, Anar Rzayev, head of the Azerbaijani State Road Transport Service, said in an interview with Trend.
Rzayev said that the application of the requirements of the Quality Charter in Azerbaijan will contribute to the development of the road transport sector and will give a big impetus to the process of increasing the competitiveness of Azerbaijani carriers in the international road transport market.
Moreover, Rzayev stressed that earlier there were a number of shortcomings related to the transparency in the distribution of permit applications in Azerbaijan.
“In this regard, the necessary measures were taken to achieve full transparency in the issuance of permit applications and to ensure public participation in this process,” the head of the Azerbaijani State Road Transport Service added. “Presently, a special commission is engaged in issuing permit applications. It operates under the Azerbaijan International Road Carriers Association (ABADA) and includes all corresponding sides, namely, state structures, associations, and private carriers.”
Rzayev said that the stimulation of business in the field of road transport, the process of ensuring free competition among carriers, the creation of favorable conditions for increasing the competitiveness of local carriers in the international transport market and the process of preventing monopoly can be called the main goal.
“On the other hand, we regulate the access to the international road transport market, which is in full compliance with the requirements of the Quality Charter, being implemented within the multilateral quota system of the international transport forum, in which Azerbaijan is a member,” head of the State Road Transport Service added.
“I would like to stress that the improvement of the process of issuing permit applications creates favorable conditions for the development of the free competitive environment, increasing the professionalism of carriers and drivers and improving Azerbaijan's position in international rankings,” Rzayev said.
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that depending on the demand for permit applications, they are defined as scarce, those having special scarcity and non-deficient.
“The permit applications having special scarcity are issued on the basis of an international consignment note or other documents issued for transportation on the basis of a specific fact,” Rzayev said. “The scarce and non-deficient permit applications are issued according to the number of cars or according to their share in the local market.”
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that the distribution of permit applications for non-deficit two-way/transit transportation includes the maximum possible number of trips of the carrier's cars in the specified direction.
“It is assumed that the carrier can make a maximum of 3.5 trips to Iran and Georgia, 2.5 trips to Russia and Turkey and 1.5 trips to other countries per month,” Rzayev said. “The distribution of permit applications upon the abovementioned methods creates the conditions for ensuring the principle of transparency and fairness.”
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that during cargo transportation, permit applications are exchanged between the countries.
“There is a certain limit because permit applications are exchanged with other countries in accordance with the established quota,” Rzayev said. “For this reason, as I have already mentioned, depending on the demand and the quantity determined upon the quota, the applications are divided into three categories, namely, scarce, non-deficient and those having special scarcity.”
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that however, despite this limitation, some carriers require a big number of scarce applications and applications having special scarcity.
“However, it is necessary to take into account that the issuance of more applications than that indicated in the quota to one carrier may decrease the number of applications for another carrier, which in turn will dissatisfy the carrier,” Rzayev said. “In this regard, some carriers are dissatisfied that the applications are not distributed as they want.”
“I would like to stress that the periodic meetings are held with the dissatisfied carriers and they are provided with detailed information about the principles of distribution,” the head of the State Road Transport Service said. “Four meetings have been held with 70 carriers in groups, as well as individuals over the past three months.”
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that these applications are exchanged on a parity basis, determined on the basis of quotas, depending on the volume of traffic between the countries.
Rzayev added that there are big difficulties with the increase in the number of applications from/to third countries, which is associated with the desire of these countries to protect their international road transport market.
“The increase in the quota for such applications actually reduces the market share of these carriers, which also applies to the applications from/to a third country issued by the Azerbaijani side,” the head of the State Road Transport Service said.
Rzayev said that ITF applications are distributed among member-states in accordance with the quota established by the International Transport Forum (ITF) and since May 2015 - the Quality Charter within the multilateral quota system.
“As the Russian side is not greatly interested in ITF permit applications, the permit applications, which were not accepted by carriers, were redistributed and offered to the interested carriers,” the head of the State Road Transport Service said. “Moreover, I would like to stress that about 500 ITF applications remained unused in the previous years. Almost all permit applications have been distributed among carriers as a result of the redistribution mechanism, introduced in 2022.”
“I also would like to stress that the vast majority of carriers, even many big carriers, are not well aware of the rules for using ITF permit applications,” Rzayev said. “As a result, our carriers are being regularly fined in partner countries for using ITF permit applications. We plan to conduct training to eliminate such cases.”
“Moreover, according to the warning letters sent by the ITF Secretariat, the permit quota for Azerbaijan may be limited because the ITF applications are used by some carriers who do not comply with the requirements of the Quality Charter,” the head of the State Road Transport Service said.
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that in this regard, the measures will be taken at the next stage to hold training for the carriers using ITF applications to comply with the requirements of the Quality Charter and applications will be distributed only among carriers who meet these requirements next year.
“I would like to stress that a number of countries have already implemented the requirements of the Quality Charter in their domestic legislation,” Rzayev said. “This process has also begun in Azerbaijan and is under completion. The application of the requirements of the Quality Charter in Azerbaijan will contribute to the development of the road transport sector and will give a big impetus to the process of increasing the competitiveness of Azerbaijani carriers in the international road transport market.”
The head of the State Road Transport Service said that the measures are being taken to develop the corresponding software and fully automate the process to further improve the procedure for issuing the permit applications.
“This program will envisage the creation of e-cabinets for carriers, the process of processing applications through this cabinet, posting the results of distribution in the e-cabinet,” Rzayev said. “It will also simplify the access of carriers to get the applications. An effective, stable and reliable management system will be created and the applications will be effectively used.”
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