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Global | Dubai

Free zones: Shaping supply chain resilience with TIR

28 Jun 2022 · Prosperity

The World Free Zones Organization (FZO) has held its annual conference and exhibition. IRU Director of TIR and Transit Tatiana Rey-Bellet was there. 

Resilience, sustainability and prosperity. This was the theme of this year’s World FZO Annual Conference and Exhibition for the global free trade and special economic zones community. 

World-class speakers, policy makers, academics, international organisations and global business leaders from over 100 countries came together to share insights on the future of supply chains, developments in global and regional trade, and new technologies.

The World FZO is a membership organisation that fosters best practices to support clean trade policies via standardised regulations and solid compliance models. IRU has worked closely with the organisation, with a focus on the TIR system reinforcing security and trust as well as combatting illicit trade. 

World FZO CEO Dr Samir Hamrouni spoke to the audience about its Safe Zone Program, an on-going initiative to support free zones in achieving a sustainable future for themselves and the communities where they operate. 

Noting that illicit trade and related crimes are a serious challenge to free zones, he added it is therefore important that free zones have the right regulatory and enforcement frameworks in place to fight against such threats. 

TIR, the only global transit system, encapsulates a high level of security, thus preventing illicit trade, and is a key way to reinforce a positive environment of compliance. TIR’s high level of security is matched by its performance in boosting trade and transit facilitation, keeping supply chains running smoothly.

Tatiana Rey-Bellet, IRU Director for TIR and Transit, spoke to the conference about the harmonisation brought by the UN TIR Convention, now acceded by 77 countries, which reduces the number of documents and procedures needed for cross-border trade and instils an environment of mutual trust. 

The need to create an eco-system of trust was echoed by many participants. Resilience through digitalisation of transport documents, mechanisms supporting trust and harmonisation at the global level were key subjects that Tatiana Rey-Bellet brought to conference discussions.  

TIR is already being used to transport goods from, to or between free zones in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and can be adopted by free zones in other regions as well. For more information about how free zones can use TIR, please contact IRU