TIR operations – the global customs transit standard – have started at the Chinese-Kazakh border advancing lower cost, faster, and more secure trade flows across Eurasia. The important milestone signals the activation of the new Silk Road overland link from China to Europe.
The passage of this first TIR truck follows the implementation of TIR in China in recent weeks. It is now en route to Georgia, transiting Kazakhstan and Russia. It crossed the Chinese border at Khorgos, one of the biggest dry ports, which is a cornerstone of plans to reactivate the Silk Road as part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Next steps will see further TIR transports along this route and expansion to other border-crossing points in the region acting as key trade gateways towards Eurasia and Europe. IRU encourages transport operators to test other routes across the China-Mongolia and China-Kyrgyzstan borders, which are also open for TIR.
Khorgos is the most popular border crossing point between Kazakhstan and China, with robust infrastructure already in place. Carrying commodities, this first transport operation to use TIR along the route is with the Almaty based operator, Khozu-Avto KZ, member of IRU’s association, KAZATO. It will deliver consolidated cargo with consumer goods and automobile parts to Tbilisi.
As part of the Kazakh national Nurly Zhol programme, the Khorgos project is providing a powerful stimulus to the development of Kazakhstan’s transit potential, and will enable the New Silk Road Economic Belt to be established in its entirety.
The first TIR truck operated by the Kazakh transport company successfully passed all checks and procedures at the border, with the electronic data sent to the customs authorities along the route.
Transport is the fastest growing sector in Kazakhstan, with the rapid development of transit traffic on the Europe-China route of particular significance. Situated at the centre of international trade, Kazakhstan is a natural land bridge between these regions.