IRU and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) today sign agreements on the digitalisation of the customs transit procedure under the TIR Convention, to boost international transport and trade by improving the efficiency and security of customs procedures through enhanced data management.
The full digitalisation of the TIR customs transit procedure will be supported by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further strengthen cooperation between UNECE and IRU. Outlining the launch of new digital TIR pilot projects to encompass further countries, the MoU also establishes a series of yearly action plans to define next steps.
UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova welcomed the MoU, stating that
"The computerisation of the TIR system will enhance the speed, efficiency and transparency of the TIR customs transit procedure. Increasing interest in the TIR Convention means more and more countries will benefit from these improvements. Through this MoU, UNECE and IRU reaffirm their commitment to a common vision for the long term sustainability of the TIR system."
The MoU reinforces the message that digitalisation will harness the advantages already offered by IRU digital transit tools, together with digital customs procedures, to benefit all TIR contracting parties.
Secretary General of IRU, Umberto de Pretto, comments
“We look forward to a strengthened partnership with UNECE on expanding and upgrading the TIR system to improve trade and spur economic growth, with further eTIR pilot projects and regular coordination on the use of digital transport, customs and transit tools.”
In parallel, an agreement on financing TIR digitalisation activities through a public-private partnership are laid out, with yearly work plans that define activities and expected achievements.
For 2018, the objectives include: enabling any interested customs administrations to join a new digital project; the launch of the second pilot project; and the introduction of full IRU/ UNECE system synchronisation with mirrored databases.
IRU’s Chief Operating Officer, Boris Blanche, adds
“IRU’s enthusiasm for contributing to the modernisation of the TIR procedure in the long term, and the decision to contribute financially to the investments required at UNECE level to implement TIR digitalisation, is underscored today by the signing of these two important agreements.”
Acknowledging the successful results of the first eTIR pilot transport operations between Turkey and Iran, the agreements seek to enable additional countries to move forward with digital TIR operations that include more flexibility to allow transport operators to submit data electronically using a variety of declaration mechanisms.
Reinforced by a programme of ongoing regional workshops that highlight the significant benefits of real-time data availability, online monitoring and improved reliability, the full digitalisation of TIR moves ever closer.