The TIR System
In today’s global economy it takes twenty nine companies from 18 countries to have a simple cup of coffee. To produce a car it can take ten thousand suppliers from around the globe all of which in turn have their own suppliers.
In this production distribution and consumption chain, trucks are the link allowing complex supply and logistics chains to operate efficiently, interconnecting all businesses markets and transport modes. Every item on every store shelf in every office and in every home has at one point if its production or distribution, been on a truck, so it goes without saying that trucks have become the vital lifeblood all economies.
However these complex international supply chains are subject to non-harmonized and overlapping regulatory requirements and procedures that change from one country and region to the next. Field studies have shown that inappropriate customs procedures can account for up to fifty-seven percent of total transport time. Waiting times at Borders which can amount to hours days and even weeks, are an economic social and environmental nightmare for all involved and create an environment conducive to corruption making trade considerably slower and more expensive.
What if the security and economic concerns could be effectively addressed with one global multimodal secure
Too good to be true.
Meet the TIR system. The TIR system is the simple global multimodal secure affordable customs transit system.
Under TIR, trucks or any containerized shipments are sealed by customs at departure and unsealed by customs at destination without unnecessary or redundant checks at Borders in between. When cargo arrives at the border of a transit country, Customs make sure the seals are intact and verify the cargo information using the unique transport document, the TIR Carnet before releasing the cargo. Nothing can get inside on the way without customs noticing it thus guaranteeing the full security and traceability of goods transported. It’s as simple as that.
Highly computerized with state-of-the-art risk management applications. TIR’s streamlines customs procedures worldwide for increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness along the supply chain. In fact TIR’s cuts overall transport times by 40 percent and costs by up to 30 percent making trade easier, cheaper and more secure. A win-win for everybody.
Today the TIR system issues three million TIR Carnets for up to 20 million border crossings of close to $100 million tons of goods per year with one billion US dollars in guarantees issued every day to cover the customs taxes owing on those goods.
One last thing TIR has a strict public-private admission process the transport operators have to go through to become duly authorized TIR transporters. But that’s what makes TIR the most secure and reliable customs transit system in the world.
Ratified by close to seventy countries, the UN TIR convention has proven most effective for sixty years in some 60 countries worldwide, and 25 more countries are highly interested in getting on board.
The TIR Customs transit system is a valuable trade and transport facilitation instrument in place in an increasing number of countries since 1959, first version, preceded by a provisional agreement dating back to 1949 that proved extremely useful in the post WW2 reconstruction period in Europe. The first UN Convention (1959) was signed by 17 states, and it is recalled that the Convention’s present 1975 version currently has 69 Contracting Parties.
TIR is a tried and tested UN Convention that is applied and administered on a daily basis by a complex institutional network that comprises public and private agencies, including the IRU, working together for the benefit of traders, carriers and consumers.
Recognised virtues of the TIR System, and fruits of its continuous modernisation and computerisation ongoing over the last 15 years, reinforce the rationale and chances for its further geographic extension.
Today’s unacceptably long border waiting times that range from many hours to several days entail additional transport time and costs, negatively impacting trade. The IRU, with its Members, provides an effective and simple solution for all customs authorities: the new IRU TIR Electronic Pre-Declaration (TIR-EPD) Green Lanes. TIR-EPD Green Lanes are dedicated lanes on both sides of a border crossing point. The transmission of electronic pre-declarations allows customs authorities to assess risks and determine in advance which truck should be subject to a specific control. TIR trucks permitted by customs to use TIR-EPD Green Lanes will only be subject to the scanning and stamping of their TIR Carnet, thus enjoying very speedy customs control allowing for a massive reduction of border waiting times and transport costs.