The first electronic TIR (eTIR) transport in line with the Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) has taken place between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Four packages of dried and fresh fruits were transported first by truck and then by plane from the airport of Tashkent to the airport of Baku, following the eTIR procedure and thus paving the way for a new, digital era of the TIR system.
This development crowns long-lasting efforts by UNECE’s TIR Secretariat to modernize international transport and transit in cooperation with the contracting parties to the TIR Convention and the private sector. The TIR Convention provides for an internationally recognized procedure to facilitate the cross-border transportation of goods in transit through the use of a standard, internationally recognized customs document – the TIR Carnet. However, with advances in technology, the use of the paper TIR Carnet has become increasingly archaic, especially when it comes to linking it to the electronic procedures applied by national customs administrations.
The implementation of eTIR was made possible after the adoption of Annex 11 to the TIR Convention, which came into force in May 2021. Annex 11 regulates the eTIR procedure, including hosting and administration of the eTIR international system, authentication of the holders, as well as the composition, functions, and rules of procedure of the eTIR Technical Implementation Body.
During 2022, the TIR Secretariat finalized the development of eTIR international system and started its interconnection with the national customs systems. So far, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) have finalized the interconnection to the eTIR international system in accordance with Annex 11 and passed the mandatory conformance tests. Tunisia and Pakistan have also finalized the interconnection, but still need to pass the conformance tests. Another country that is planning to finalize the interconnection to eTIR in the near future is Turkey.
In 2023, the TIR secretariat plans to expand the interconnection of national customs systems with the eTIR international system to as many of 77 contracting parties as possible, especially along the corridors connecting Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. That will make eTIR the main way of undertaking transportation under TIR carnets in the near future and will significantly increase security and safety of the TIR system. It will also reduce administrative costs and the time to handle TIR carnets.
The expansion of eTIR will increase the overall competitiveness of the TIR system for intermodal transport. Finally, the provision of advance cargo information and the exchange of information in real time will speed up the TIR procedure.
Learn how the eTIR system functions: eTIR Home | etir
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