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TIR digitalisation: we need to act now

21 Sep 2017

For almost seven decades, TIR has facilitated trade, boosting development and prosperity as the world’s only universal customs transit standard and system.

The past decade however has seen major changes in the external trade environment that have affected TIR, from geopolitics to technology. Despite the queue of countries wanting to join, the use of TIR in existing countries has declined by 60% since 2013.

Over the same period, progress in fully digitalising the core TIR system has stalled, and the system now lags behind others in terms of technology.

IRU has invested heavily in new digital services for all stakeholders to use TIR over recent years. IRU members have also demonstrated strong support for the full digitalisation of TIR through recent pilot projects between Iran and Turkey.  

Fully digitalising TIR has been discussed within the UN and TIR governing bodies for almost 15 years. It is time to act now. IRU is proposing a strong acceleration in the process for digitalisation of the system to safeguard the future of TIR.

IRU is ready to finance further development to make TIR fully digital, in the context of a balanced private-public partnership with UNECE, under certain conditions including protecting the investments that IRU and its members have already made. IRU President Christian Labrot will present this proposal in person at the upcoming TIR governance meetings at the UN in Geneva from 10-13 October.

As IRU members, you play an important role in communicating with authorities in your country. All active members will receive a letter from Secretary General Umberto de Pretto to this effect in the coming days. Whether you are a TIR carnet issuing member or not, we’re counting on your support.