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People's Republic of China | Beijing

Five years of TIR in China driving east-west connectivity

30 May 2023 · Prosperity

TIR was officially launched in China in May 2018, strengthening the country's trade links with Central Asia and Europe. Five years later, TIR now connects China with over 30 countries across Eurasia.

TIR, the only global customs transit system, has brought faster, safer and more efficient east-west road transport connectivity to China.

Soon after its official launch in May 2018, IRU, together with members and partners, conducted the first China-Europe TIR pilot: a 7,000-km door-to-door transport in 13 days. The success of the pilot showcased the feasibility as well as the efficiency of long-haul road transport under TIR. 

A growing number of TIR routes have since been explored and activated. TIR now connects China with over 30 countries across Eurasia and is recognised as a highly flexible and competitive logistics solution to facilitate growing trade along these corridors. 

IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said, “These important milestones illustrate the fruitful journey we’ve been on together over the past five years.”

“We look forward to deepening cooperation with our Chinese friends and partners to further promote TIR and facilitate secure and efficient east-west trade,” he added.

The support of the Chinese government has further increased TIR’s potential. After initially designating six customs checkpoints for TIR operations, China’s customs opened all checkpoints (over 1,000) to TIR in 2019. 

After withstanding the challenges imposed by Covid-19, TIR operations from China have resumed and experienced robust growth over the past few months. 

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, which is expected to bring new impetus and opportunities to grow TIR in China and regionally.

What is TIR?

TIR is the only global transit system, enabling goods to be shipped from a country of origin, through transit countries, to a country of destination, via a secure, multilateral, multimodal and mutually recognised system, which also provides a financial guarantee for the payment of suspended duties and taxes. IRU manages the guarantee system.

It is the easiest, safest and most reliable way to move goods across multiple international borders, saving time and money for transport operators and customs authorities.