By Chan Mya Htwe
Yangon, July 13, 2018
Myanmar and Thailand will sign an MOU for the Initial Implementation of a Cross-border Transport Agreement (IICBTA), to facilitate transport between countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in late August.
Upon signing the MOU, Myanmar will start cross-border transport activities with Thailand, said U Aung Khin Myint, chair of the Myanmar International Freight Forwarders’ Association.
“Under the IICBTA, cross-border transport has already started between other (GMS) countries. Only Myanmar remains to join. We are starting by signing the MOU with Thailand,” he said.
The aim is to facilitate trade and accelerate the flow of goods across the border between the two countries
To study the potential on-ground impact following the MoU, the authorities conducted a survey on July 11. “Locally-based groups are worried as Thailand usually has the advantage on import and export,” said U Aung Khin Myint.
The minister said the two sides have agreed that only 100 vehicles per day from each side will be able to cross the border; according to the Cross-border Transport Agreement (CBTA). These 100 vehicles will be granted Temporary Immigration Documents with a limit of one year to cross the border and extension of the documents will be made after the limit.
Moreover, the person or vehicle which will be crossing over will need to have an operator license granted by the State. This license can be applied by anyone but in order to be able to cross the border, only a person who checks out all the CBTA qualifications can submit the application. The related departments will give out the license and those without one will not be able to cross.
All these actions will be surveyed and if everything goes smoothly, the Temporary Immigration Document will be gradually extended.
Cross-border trade allows Thai vehicles as far as Mawlamyaing city in Mon State and for Myanmar vehicles to travel as far as Mukdahan city in Thailand.
Previously, the number of vehicles entering Myanmar from Thailand was estimated to be between 300 and 400 vehicles per day. Many of the vehicles enter illegally without having obtained the necessary licenses and documents.