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China ratifies UN TIR Convention with new trade prospects in view

China ratifies UN TIR Convention with new trade prospects in view

26 Jul 2016

The People’s Republic of China has become the 70th country to ratify the United Nation’s TIR Convention, the global standard for international freight customs transit.

China’s ratification is an important step in improving land and multimodal transport between Asia and Europe, and a sign of the country’s steady integration into global transport and trade norms.

The TIR System will, in particular, underpin China’s Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to boost trade, development and cooperation along ancient Silk Road routes.

“I’m delighted to welcome China into the TIR family of nations. This is an important step in harmonising standards and boosting transport, trade and development across the Eurasian landmass”, said Umberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General.   

“IRU has been a strong supporter of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and we will continue working closely with the Chinese government and business community as we turn our attention now to implementing the TIR system,” added Mr de Pretto.

TIR-operating countries around China, including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia and Tajikistan, are also set to see a boost to transport and trade when the system becomes operational in China. Pakistan is also currently implementing TIR after its own ratification of the convention last year.

“China’s accession to the TIR Convention will open new efficient and faster transport opportunities and transport routes between China and Europe. It can become a real game changer for international trade and is a strong contribution to the Chinese vision for the Belt and Road Initiative,” said UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach.

“We warmly welcome China to the TIR Convention and look forward to working closely with China and all TIR contracting partners to turn this decision into strong opportunities for trade, transport and economic growth,” he added.
The world’s only universal customs transit system and one of the most successful international transport conventions, TIR makes border crossings faster, more secure and more efficient, reducing transport costs, and boosting trade and development.

The United Nations Secretary General has confirmed that the TIR Convention will enter into force in China on 5 January 2017.

Governance, Goods Transport, Trade, Economy, Advocacy



John Kidd
Head of Communications, IRU
+41 79 386 9544

Yan Zhou
Communications Manager, IRU
+86 138 1076 5825


About TIR
TIR is the only universal customs transit system for moving goods across international borders. Supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, TIR is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention, overseen by UNECE, and managed by IRU. TIR stands for “Transports Internationaux Routiers”.

About IRU
IRU is the world’s road transport organisation, promoting economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods. Founded in 1948, IRU has members and activities in more than 100 countries. IRU conceived TIR in 1949, and manages the system to this day.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe was set up in 1947 and is one of five regional commissions of the UN. UNECE facilitates economic integration and cooperation among its member countries and promotes sustainable development and economic prosperity. UNECE oversees the TIR Convention.