Kazakhstan to Increase Checkpoint Capacity, Reduce Wait Times

ASTANA—The capacity of the checkpoints will be increased eightfold, reducing wait times from two hours to 25 minutes and minimizing corruption risks. The reconstruction of all checkpoints is planned to be completed by the end of the year, said Eldos Saudabayev, the acting Deputy Chairman of the State Revenue Committee (SRC) of the Kazakh Ministry of Finance, at a press conference of the Central Communications Service (CCS) on June 25.

Photo credit: Alexander Pavsky / Kazinform

According to Kazinform, during the briefing, it was revealed that external trade turnover with third countries increased by 0.5% to $44.6 billion in the first five months of this year. Exports amounted to $28.6 billion, a 5.5% increase over the same period in 2023. Imports amounted to $16.1 billion.

Saudabayev noted that the Baurzhan Konysbayev checkpoint handles more than 1,000 vehicles daily.

“In the first five months of this year, customs payments and taxes of 1.3 trillion tenge (US$2.8 billion) were collected. Due to customs administration measures, 62.5 billion tenge (US$134 million) was collected for the budget,” said Saudabayev.

According to the SRC, introducing an electronic queue at automobile checkpoints has changed the border crossing process.

“This automated system is the only one of its kind in Central Asia. In five months, more than 480,000 vehicles passed through automobile checkpoints on the border with third countries, a 38% increase from the same period last year,” said Saudabayev.

The electronic queue system has automated the issuance of foreign permit forms at the border with China and Uzbekistan. The form issuance at the Uzbekistan border is digitized through integration with the Uzbekistan transport database.

Saudabayev mentioned ongoing work with China to implement the same electronic form-issuing system. 

“The main purpose of this service is to issue forms upon carriers’ arrival at the border, activated on the day of the crossing. This eliminates corruption risks and digitizes the form issuance process. Now, each form is linked to a specific vehicle and is issued for 3,692 tenge, preventing resale,” he said.

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