New regional transport system to benefit Myanmar’s freight forwarders

w_53018487 A cargo ship passes through the Yangon river in Yangon, September 15, 2016. Photo: EPA-EFE

26 Nov 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times - Transportation of goods between Asean countries will be more competitive with the implementation of a new regional multimodal transport system, said U Than Win Aung, joint secretary of the Myanmar International Freight Forwarders Association.

A framework agreement on a multimodal transport system involving the Asean countries is now being drawn up. Thailand and the Philippines have stipulated laws, while Myanmar has completed the draft stage. Others, like Cambodia, have yet to begin the process, he said.

Multimodal transport involves a combination of at least two or more different modes of moving cargo. under a single bill of lading, implying that a carrier is fully liable for the entire carriage even though it is performed by different modes of transport such as air, rail, road or sea.

The system, if implemented, will benefit big logistics businesses and is expected to facilitate cross-border trade between the Asean nations.

Benefits include higher trade volumes and smoother flows of authorised goods through Asean and would come after the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the first free trade agreement between Asean and China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

In addition under the Asean Economic Community, no tax will be imposed on goods, which will be allowed to pass through the region without restrictions.

Myanmar enacted the Multimodal Transport Law in 2014 but the rules under the legislation have yet to be released.

"The rules, once released, should consider how to protect local logistics and freight forwarder service providers and clarify what is allowed and what isn't," said U Than Win Aung.

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