South African government representatives are meeting with IRU this week to establish a concrete roadmap for implementing TIR to boost the efficiency of international road transport in Southern Africa, and to put in place modern frameworks for regulating access to the regional transport market.
There has been steady momentum towards implementing TIR in South Africa and in the wider Southern African Customs Union (SACU – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), as well as along the key North South Corridor (from South Africa through Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia to DRC).
This has prompted demand for technical knowledge to manage transport operations under the global customs transit system.
Visiting IRU’s headquarters in Geneva and travelling to Iran to better understand the system, the objective is to gain a more practical understanding of how TIR would work, how to implement it and the concrete benefits in South Africa in terms of trade facilitation. The participants will also exchange ideas on best practice in the establishment of regional and multi-lateral permit systems.
The Trans-Kalahari Corridor has been highlighted for possible TIR pilot operations. It links Gauteng, the Province around South Africa’s main manufacturing hub – Johannesburg, with markets in Namibia and Botswana, and the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia.