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IRU - International Road Transport Union

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Geneva, September 10, 2014 IRU briefs EuroMed delegation on benefits of implementing main UN road transport agreements
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The IRU briefed a EuroMed delegation today on the benefits of fully implementing main UN road transport agreements, notably the Harmonization and TIR Conventions, as the best tools to facilitate and secure trade and international road transport. The IRU also showcased the benefits of implementing high quality professional training programmes based on international standards, such as those developed by the IRU Academy. The seminar was attended by representatives from public and private sectors in Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, and was organised as part of a EuroMed regional study tour.

In February 2014, the IRU notably joined forces with the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the European Commission to promote main UN road transport agreements as the best tools to achieve regional integration in the EuroMed region and sub-regions through facilitated and secure international road transport.


Ras Al Khaimah, September 9, 2014 Ras Al Khaimah Customs and ATCUAE sign agreement activating TIR in the UAE

Today saw the signing of a guarantee agreement to introduce the TIR System in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), between Director General of Ras Al Khamah Customs, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Mehrezi and President of IRU Member Association, the Automobile & Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE), Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

The three Emirati Customs that signed guarantee agreements thus far will benefit from the advantages offered by the TIR system, while similar agreements with the remaining four Emirates are expected to follow shortly, as ATCUAE and IRU are seeking to have TIR fully operational in the near future in the UAE.

UAE joining the TIR System will considerably facilitate global trade by reducing transport times and costs across this major trade hub, including through the ports of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. Electronic pre-declarations to Customs, real-time traceability of TIR Carnets and efficient risk management provided by the TIR System will also contribute to making border procedures faster, more secure and user-friendly.

The IRU will continue working with UAE competent authorities and ATCUAE to speed up the implementation of appropriate border crossing procedures, IT risk management tools and best practices, streamlined by key UN multilateral trade and transport facilitation instruments, notably the TIR and Harmonization Conventions.

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Director General of Ras Al Khaimah Customs, Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Mehrezi, and ATCUAE President, Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, signing the agreement

Brussels, September 3, 2014 UberPop banned in Germany, rest of EU must follow
 

News from Germany that UberPop has been banned from operating on German territory is warmly welcomed by the IRU. It follows similar bans against the illegal UberPop operator in for example Brussels, and a demand by Dutch regulators that Uber must comply with local taxi legislation or face similar action.

Oleg Kamberski, Head, Passenger Transport for IRU said, “Taxis are an integral part of the public transport system. It is absolutely unacceptable for Uber to be offering ‘taxi’ services without complying with the rules created to protect customers. Such operators should be banned across Europe until they comply with the taxi regulations imposed on the rest of the industry. Bans on such companies must be fully enforced.”

The IRU calls for similar bans across Europe, and also urges the European Commission to complete its recently started assessment and take urgent action, as the current situation distorts the European collective passenger transport market.

“Regulators demand fair competition in the taxi industry. Uber’s operating practices do not meet the most basic requirements for fair competition. I am pleased that European courts and regulators are increasingly recognising this. Politicians must take firm action now to fully support quality taxi services for all Europe’s people,” Mr Kamberski concluded.

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Ashgabat, September 2, 2014 IRU signs Memorandum of Understanding with Turkmenistan
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In the framework of the High-level International Conference on “The role of transport and transit corridors in ensuring international cooperation, stability and sustainable development” co-organised by the Government of Turkmenistan, the IRU, UNECE, UNESCAP and the OSCE, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov, and IRU President, Janusz Lacny, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to confirm the longstanding cooperation between Turkmenistan and the IRU to develop the transport and transit potential of Turkmenistan and Central Asian countries.


Ashgabat, September 2, 2014 IRU shares its vision at High-level International Conference in Turkmenistan
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President of Turkmenistan, Gurbaguly Berdymukhamedov, today opened the High-level International Conference on “The role of transport and transit corridors in ensuring international cooperation, stability and sustainable development”,co-organised by the Government of Turkmenistan, IRU, UNECE, UNESCAP and OSCE, and expressed his support to IRU's concerted efforts to facilitate trade in the region, such as the Model Highway Initiative (MHI). 

IRU President, Janusz Lacny, highlighted that the effective implementation by every government of the key tried and tested UN instruments, such as the Harmonization and TIR Conventions, is crucial to facilitate and secure trade in the region.



Urumqi, September 2, 2014 IRU Addresses Silk Road Economic Belt Transport Summit
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IRU  Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto  today addressed the Silk Road Economic Belt Transport Summit in the presence of the Chinese Minister of Transport, Yang Chuantang, and over 400 high level participants from Afghanistan, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Poland, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan,  as well as officials from China’s Ministry of Transport, Port Authorities, regional governments, business executives and national media. 

Mr de Pretto welcomed the current steps being undertaken by the Chinese Government to finalise the accession process to the UN TIR Convention and highlighted the many benefits that its implementation would bring to trade along the Silk Road economic belt spearheaded by the Chinese government. 


Tehran, September 2, 2014 IRU, ICCIMA and IRICA hold an International Workshop on Transport Facilitation, Customs Procedures and the TIR System

IRU, the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), in collaboration with representatives from the public and private sectors of Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates, co-organised an international workshop to brief key stakeholders from the region on the benefits of using key global UN trade facilitation instruments, such as the TIR Convention, to boost national economies and achieve regional integration through facilitated trade by road transport, as well as intermodal transport.

All 120 participants from the public and private sector agreed that the TIR workshop offered an excellent platform where all major stakeholders could openly discuss the major benefits offered by the TIR System, including the development of intermodal transport in the region.

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In the centre: IRU Head of TIR Carnet Management, Raphaël Hirt, President of IRICA, H.E. Dr Masoud Karbasian, President of ICCIMA, H.E. Mr Gholamhossein Shafie

Ashgabat, August 22, 2014 IRU meets with First Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan
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An IRU delegation, headed by the Head of the IRU Permanent Delegation to Eurasia, Dmitry Cheltsov, met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan, H.E. Rashid Meredov, to discuss preparations for the upcoming High-level International Conference on “The role of transport and transit corridors in ensuring international cooperation, stability and sustainable development”, organised by the Government of Turkmenistan in partnership with the UNECE, UNESCAP, OSCE and IRU, from 3-4 September 2014 in Ashgabat.

Both parties expressed confidence that the spirit of “transport diplomacy” at the Conference will become a catalyst for further economic growth and prosperity of participating countries through the accelerated modernisation of road transport infrastructure and transit corridors.

H.E. Rashid Meredov expressed his deep appreciation of IRU efforts to facilitate trade and international road transport, confirmed by Turkmenistan’s involvement in the IRU Model Highway Initiative (MHI) in the South Caucasus and Central Asian region, and his support for IRU efforts to implement the MHI on the newly constructed Ashgabat - Turkmenbashi - Turkmenabad highway.


Pakistan, August 22, 2014 IRU and ECO hold TIR workshops in Pakistan
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Three TIR awareness workshops were co-organised by the IRU and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), in collaboration with the National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee of the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to brief all key stakeholders on accession of Pakistan to the TIR Convention, which is strongly supported by all government agencies and the private sector.  The Pakistani national Association, PNC-ICC, played an active role in these events, having continuously promoted the TIR System in Pakistan since becoming an IRU Member in 2005.

According to the latest news from both the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Communication, the decision on the accession of Pakistan to the TIR Convention has been approved by the relevant decision-making authorities and is now to be finally endorsed by the Cabinet of Ministers.

The workshops were attended by high-level government officials, leading actors within the Pakistani transport industry, representatives of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the Afghanistan Customs Department and USAID as well as PNC-ICC. All participants agreed that the TIR workshops offered an excellent platform where all major stakeholders could openly discuss the major benefits offered by the TIR System.


Geneva, August 18, 2014 IRU meets new UNECE Executive Secretary
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  IRU Secretary General, Mr Umberto de Pretto, today met with the newly appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, H.E. Mr Christian Friis Bach.

Mr Bach stressed the importance of the long-standing public-private partnership between IRU and UNECE and discussed global trade and transport challenges and how the tried and tested UN facilitation instruments, such as the TIR Convention, can meet the two organisations’ common economic, social and environmental goals.

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