Middle East overview
IRU in the Middle East and Region
IRU activity in the Middle East and Region is to raise awareness and implement best practices in regards to transport of people and goods. Fostering economic development and regional integration through the facilitation of trade and transport.
In particular, IRU seeks to deepen awareness of TIR in countries that are less familiar with this international customs transit system. For existing signatories of the TIR Convention in the Middle East and Region, our objective is to encourage people to opt for this system over other local choices. TIR is particularly advantageous for transport operators trading with the EU, and IRU recommends TIR, with its more wide-reaching scope, goals and aims, over the EU-focussed transit scheme.
Focus on Training
Our work in the Middle East and Region also emphasises training, and generating increased knowledge about IRU Academy Associate Training Institutes, or ATIs. These Academy training schemes help modernise the transport sector, and have a strong presence in Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Institutes here provide a market-driven service, and, with a focus on international regulations and safety standards, provide a competitive advantage for Middle East transport operators that wish to trade internationally.
Further afield, in the Middle East, IRU’s TIR expansion programme focuses on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. We are supporting these countries on their journey to sign up to the TIR Convention. The latest countries poised to join TIR are Oman and Sudan.
TIR promotes regional unity
At the heart of our focus on TIR is the notion of interconnection: we know that this international customs transit system, and its related tools such as Electronic Pre-Declaration, or TIR-EPD, at customs points, helps improve the flow of trade through border points and customs. Since its inception in 1949, TIR has proved a solution to achieve regional unity, dynamic trade flows, and has significantly contributed to safer roads, drivers and a highly skilled professional driving community. This is why IRU promotes TIR as a mechanism for regional and economic integration, and as a way for countries to work together and enjoy better trade relations.
One of the major on-going projects in the region is the roll-out of eTIR – a fully computerised version of the TIR System. In 2015, the first phase of a pilot project was successfully completed between Iran and Turkey, and the next phases of eTIR will be implemented in the coming years.