India is gearing up to sign the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), or the customs convention on the international transport of goods, as it eyes seamless trade connectivity with both Eurasian region and Southeast Asia.
TIR convention: Background
- The Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Convention is a multilateral treaty that was concluded at Geneva on 14 November 1975 to simplify and harmonise the administrative formalities of international road transport.
- The 1975 convention replaced the TIR Convention of 1959, which itself replaced the 1949 TIR Agreement between a number of European countries. The conventions were adopted under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
- The TIR system operates with certain parameters – secure vehicles or container, international guarantee chain, TIR carnet, reciprocal recognition of customs controls, controlled access and TIR IT risk management tools.
- These elements guarantee that goods travel across borders with minimum interference en route and at the same time provide maximum safeguards to customs administration.
Significance of Pact
- TIR is the only global customs transit system that provides easy and smooth movement of goods across borders in sealed compartments or containers under customs control from the customs office of departure to the customs office of destination.
- It plays an important role in boosting regional connectivity and facilitating cross-border trade flows, according to connectivity experts.
- The TIR system has a globally accepted electronic control system for integrated transit operations.
Benefits for India
- This will allow India to take full benefit of International North South Transportation Corridor or INSTC, which enables access to Eurasian region via Iran, and Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement.
- Aligning with the TIR system will also enable India to take full advantage of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). EEU, comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, have an integrated single market of 183 million people and GDP of more than $4 trillion in purchasing power parity.
- The TIR system can also make Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement efficient for sub-regional cooperation on India’s eastern flank.