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Global | Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s decision to accede to TIR will boost trade across the region

23 Mar 2017

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced today its decision to accede to the TIR Convention and to make the system operational in 2017.

Saudi Customs hosted an IRU team, led by Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, in Riyadh this week, to offer insights and guidance on TIR as a tool to streamline trade facilitation across the Middle East.

Ahmed Alhakbani, Director General of Saudi Customs, reinforced that the Kingdom is one of the most important transit countries in the region and he confirmed the decision to begin implementation of TIR this year.

Due to its strategic location, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is the critical link between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the wider Middle Eastern region. The country’s accession to TIR, with its benefits of seamless cross-border connectivity, will therefore open new road corridors – transforming the trade potential of the region.   

The workshop provided a framework to build awareness among the pertinent stakeholders and to discuss the practical aspects of accession and implementation of TIR in the KSA.

Umberto de Pretto explained,
“This workshop demonstrates the seriousness with which Saudi Customs approaches accession to TIR. IRU is highly motivated to facilitate knowledge-sharing and to help generate a clear understanding of the TIR system. Our aim is to communicate its simplicity, efficacy and compelling capability to transform the region’s trade potential.”

Participants at the workshop unanimously acknowledged the advantages and benefits of TIR, gaining an understanding of how Saudi Arabia’s accession and implementation of the TIR Convention will facilitate trade in a secured manner, with seamless intermodal connectivity.

The TIR workshop supports discussions on improving and developing the transport sector as outlined in the Saudi Arabian Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020, with the objective of positioning Saudi Arabia as a logistics hub linking Asia, Africa and Europe.

Stakeholders from a comprehensive cross-section of both the public and private sectors attended, notably from the Ministries of Transport, and Commerce and Investment, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the Council of Saudi Chambers, the Saudi Port Authority, customs clearance agencies and a number of leading transport operators.



Karen Mazzoli
Senior Manager, Media and Communications
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