The Saudi Council of Ministers has approved Saudi Arabia's accession to the UN TIR Convention, to support improved regional integration.
With more than 30% of the world’s trade crossing the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia is pivotal for transit through the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the Middle East due to its geographic and economic status.
Linked to the Saudi Vision 2030 – a strategy to transform the country into a logistics hub for Asia, Europe and Africa – the decision to accede to TIR will help improve and professionalise road and cross border transport.
With the 2018 IRU World Conference set to take place in Oman later this year, the news comes as IRU’s focus on the Middle East region climbs, with efforts to support further Arab countries to join the global TIR network. The Congress will look at key trade and transport issues in the region and beyond, including new intermodal corridors that connect Africa, Asia and Europe via Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Accession to TIR will secure customs duties and taxes and provide a robust guarantee mechanism, reducing trade transaction costs, facilitating higher growth of intra-regional and inter-regional trade. Bilateral trade between Arab countries is currently as low as 10 – 15 percent, so the application of the TIR system could significantly support improved regional economic and trade integration.