On June 9, contracting parties, interested countries and national associations met to discuss the benefits of the Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation of Passenger Vehicles (1954) and the Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation Commercial Vehicles (1956), as well as efforts to advance the digitization of the Customs Passage Book (CPD) under the AIT/FIA-UNECE Memorandum of Understanding concluded in 2021.
The workshop, which was a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and FIA, was organized on the occasion of the 160th session of the UNECE Working Party on customs problems affecting transport (WP.30).
Chaired by FIA Director of Tourism Services, Mr. Habib Turki, the meeting was opened by UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary, Mr. Dmitry Mariyasin, and FIA Senate President, Mr. Carmelo Sanz of Barros. Mr. Mariyasin underlined the relevance of the two temporary import conventions within the framework of the United Nations legal instruments in the field of border crossing facilitation and the urgency of digitizing them. The President of the FIA Senate reiterated that the aim of the FIA is to create a highly secure, reliable and user-friendly solution for the temporary import conventions of 1954 and 1956. This would aim to facilitate cross-border mobility for many motorists, expatriate workers and transport operators through the main economic corridors, while giving customs authorities and other government agencies the necessary financial and security guarantees.
Mr. Artur Bouten from UNECE made a presentation on the status and main provisions of the 1954 and 1956 Temporary Import Conventions and their role in facilitating border crossings.
FIA Head of Tourism Operations, Mr. Björn Nordlund, explained the use of the CPD system and the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders. He explained how the recently introduced QR codes attached to CPD booklets work which give immediate and significant risk management value for CPDs and a centralized FIA-to-Club online purchasing system to prevent counterfeiting. Finally, he gave a detailed description of the complaints and resolution process provided for by the two conventions.
Mr. Konstantinos Alexopoulos from UNECE and Mr. Habib Turki from FIA described how to gradually move from paper-based CPD to electronic CPD (eCPD). To define this process, they relied, among other things, on the lessons learned from the conversion of the TIR system into eTIR.
Mr. Christopher Davies from the Australian Border Force (ABF) spoke about the Australian experience with the CPD system for importing vehicles and his aspirations for the future eCPD system, as part of the overall efforts to digitize procedures border customs. He pointed out that such a system would significantly improve their storage efficiency and verification processes.
FIA Member Organizations were then invited to share their practical experience of using the CPD. On behalf of the Australia Automobile Association (AAA), Mr. Habib Turki took the floor to present the “CPD Trip Planner”, an application that allows vehicle owners to familiarize themselves with all the requirements of transit countries and destination when planning a trip.
Emirates Motorsports Organization (EMSO) Director of Mobility, Mr. Adel Sarris, then shared a case study on how the UAE transitioned to an e-CPD service.
Finally, the delegations thanked the UNECE and the FIA for organizing this high-level workshop and various countries and organizations expressed their interest in replicating the workshop soon in their country or region.