From China to Lao PDR, countries in this region are at different stages of development when it comes to road transport infrastructure and regulation. Driving across the Asia Pacific, vehicles meet standards in one country while failing them in others. Other challenges in the region include bureaucratic ‘grey areas’ such as corruption activity at border crossing points and en route, and a lack of sufficient multi-lateral or bi-lateral agreements within the region.
Advancing Belt and Road prospects, China opened 6 customs checkpoints to start TIR operations in 2018, and then expanded TIR to all its 1,200+ customs checkpoints since June 2019. The rapid development shows the country’s commitment to opening up and promoting win-win cooperation.
To move further with trade facilitation, IRU is in discussions with China’s neighbouring countries, encouraging them to also accede to TIR. Elsewhere, China is actively studying other UN Conventions including CMR (Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road) and ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road).
TIR connects East and West
‘Belt and Road’ is the name given to the modern-day Silk Road, the ancient trade route that previously linked China with its Eurasian counterparts, and which, thanks to better connections by road, train and sea, is opening up the trade bridge between China and its neighbours, and countries farther away. China’s accession to TIR has been the missing piece of the jigsaw, as most of the other countries along this new trade route are already TIR contracting parties. Since China implemented TIR, transports have been active along key Belt and Road corridors, demonstrating the positive impact of connectivity.
In 2015, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal (BBIN) signed the Motor Vehicle Agreement to facilitate passenger and goods transport in the region. To this end, UN road transport conventions such as the TIR Convention and other global standards and best practices could help this region to implement the BBIN Agreement effectively. With India now acceded to the TIR Convention, IRU has expressed its readiness to support this region to promote road transport and transit. The intermodal aspect of the TIR system, encompassing rail, sea and air could also play an important role to connect this region to other parts of the world. Under the intermodal aspect of the TIR Convention, all of these countries and corridors connect to each other.
IRU regional office
Chief Representative: Yan Zhou
China Youth Plaza
No. 19, East Third Ring North Road
Tel: +86-10-5606 3906