In the UN’s recent report “Shared responsibility, global solidarity: responding to socio-economic effect of COVID-19”, Secretary General António Guterres stressed the vital contribution of TIR and digital solutions to global trade particularly in the time of COVID-19.
A key trade facilitation tool during COVID-19
Managed by IRU under UN mandate, TIR is the only global transit solution. With 76 Contracting Parties around the world, TIR enables goods to be shipped from a country of origin, through transit countries, to a country of destination via a multilateral, mutually recognised system.
As a response to the present COVID-19 crisis, the UN Secretary General stated that: “Innovative tools such as UN eTIR/eCMR systems and other tools that allow to exchange electronic information without physical contact and facilitate the flow of goods across borders should be used”.
This is a direct response to IRU’s letter to Mr Guterres, in which Secretary General Umberto de Pretto asked the UN Secretary General to encourage Member States “to use the UN TIR Convention and related IT tools, which allows for transport in a secure load compartment carried out under customs control, and, therefore, does not required physical checks and therefore reduces contact between people at the border”.
By using the TIR system during the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities and companies are able to:
- Protect drivers and customs officers as there are no physical checks or unloading/loading of cargo at borders
- Accelerate the border crossing process via dedicated green lanes to allow the fast transport of essential goods and everyday supplies
- Have access to paperless solutions through eTIR that offers tracking of shipments at all times, thus reducing the risk of fraud
- Benefit from IRU’s global reach via its unique network of members to promptly address any TIR issues
- Enjoy financial guarantees thanks to the international global TIR guarantee chain that provides up to EUR 100,000 per operation to customs authorities