The Senate of Kazakhstan adopted the Law on Ratification of the Agreement on Shipping, signed by the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union. The agreement will enable Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran to gain access to the Black Sea through the ports and shipping companies of Kazakhstan, Orient news outlet reported on Sunday with reference to the Kazakh media.
According to Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Berik Kamaliyev said the purpose of the Agreement on Shipping is to simplify the permitting procedure for the transit passage of ships on the inland waterways of the party countries adding that “the agreement defines the period for consideration of the application for a transit passage – 10 days, the issuance of the permit will be carried out by the authorized ministry. From all countries participating in this agreement only Russia has inland waterways, along which transit navigation of ships is possible. Currently, a permit for a transit passage is issued by the government of the Russian Federation, and it takes three to six months.”
Kamaliev clarified that since only Kazakh companies will be able to simplify the procedure for passage through the inland waterways of Russia, already now the Caspian countries (Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan), which are not members of the Eurasian Union, are showing interest in using Kazakh carriers to transport goods from ports in the Caspian to ports on the Black Sea.
"This will significantly increase the transit potential of the Kazakh ports of Aktau and Kuryk along the Trans-Caspian international transport route," Kamaliev stressed.
Taking into account the adoption of the agreement, the number of transit traffic through the Russian waterways is expected to increase to 250-300 thousand tons of cargo per year, by 2025.