Asociatia Internationala a Transportatorilor Auto din Moldova (AITA), founded in 1992, provides essential services contributing to the development of Moldova’s transport industry. Grigore Bernavschi, President, explains that AITA’s mission is to unite transport companies of Moldova to represent and protect their professional and business interests both in relation with national authorities and international institutions. AITA also provides financial guarantees for transport companies through issuing TIR carnets (transit documents). Grigore Bernavschi discusses AITA and recent developments in Moldova’s transport sector.
European Times: How does the TIR carnet work?
Grigore Bernavschi: A TIR carnet as a unique transit document allows a transport operator to transport goods under customs seals from the place of first loading to the place of final unloading without customs control and brokers’ services helping to save time and cheapen the transportation. The guarantee of a TIR CARNET does not cover the total value of the goods transported but covers customs taxes and duties imposed on these goods. Entire Europe and a part of Asia – including China – benefit from the TIR System.
European Times: What other kinds of support do you offer transport companies?
Grigore Bernavschi: We help transport companies to purchase certain types of insurance and establish contacts with transport organisations in other countries. We also help foreign transport companies operating in Moldova. Our goal is to support the interests of transport operators, for example concerning the challenges being created during the process of harmonization of national regulations with those of the EU, difficulties related to the transport-related rules in Russia, and numerous other issues.
European Times: What is your role as president of AITA?
Grigore Bernavschi: I am the association’s number one representative to the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva. I am also responsible for keeping up the TIR procedure in the Republic of Moldova and managing the international transport guarantee chain, protecting the interests of transport operators, and ensuring the smooth operation of any transport activity in which Moldovan carriers are involved.
European Times: How do companies become members of AITA?
Grigore Bernavschi: The process is easy. A company addresses AITA and we help collect and legalize all the necessary documents to present them to customs authorities. Together with filing an application and having received permission from the state customs service the company must then deposit a financial guarantee and starts functioning according to the TIR procedure.
European Times: What is your personal message concerning Moldova’s transport sector and AITA?
Grigore Bernavschi: The Moldovan transport sector could really benefit from increased investment. Moldova strengthened its regulations for the transport sector through a new transport code passed by Parliament in September 2014. I believe that this will allow transport services to continue to improve. Speaking as the President of AITA, I believe that transport operators should observe both international and national regulations, and should strive to enhance their professional competence. AITA is one of the top 10 most highly rated transport associations in the IRU, and we are dedicated to continuing this strong performance.