A special United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) event on trade facilitation at the United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Transport in Ashgabat reported on the worldwide TIR transit system and CMR consignment notes. It recommended fully digital transport operations for the near future, putting a spotlight on IRU innovations – e-CMR and the eTIR system.
IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto, expressed his confidence that China’s recent accession to TIR will have considerable impact on international trade, with further potential for expansion to intermodal transit in the region.
He outlined developments for e-CMR, concluding that it is faster, more efficient and more competitive than the current paper-based convention. With more countries acceding to the e-CMR protocol, the industry is ever closer to fully digital road transport operations.
UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach, commended IRU’s role in conceiving and managing TIR since 1949. He emphasised that TIR is the only global customs transit system and confirmed that the success of pilot transports makes eTIR the inevitable next step for goods transport and international border crossing facilitation.
Presentations also highlighted how these UN facilitation conventions have a direct correlation to growth in international trade, with particular relevance for developing, land-locked countries.