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Frequently Asked Questions

TIR Admission FAQ

During the TIR admission and after approval from competent authorities, the national TIR association may request TIR holder to lodge one time TIR admission bank guarantee, which is refundable upon closure of TIR account with association.

TIR admission does not have any validity, thus TIR Carnet holders could enjoy the TIR benefits as long as any irregularities or serious offences against the customs authorities are encountered. In addition to that, t is recommended that the TIR admitted companies must update the national TIR association with their renewed licenses when available.

The Declaration of Engagement is a contract between the TIR Association and the TIR Carnet Holder. Under the Declaration of Engagement the TIR Carnet Holder agrees to comply with the rules laid down by the IRU for the implementation of the provisions of the TIR Convention. The TIR Carnet Holder also agrees to comply with Customs laws and regulations, and to furnish certain financial guarantees. The text of the Declaration of Engagement provides the details of the TIR Carnet Holder’s obligations.

The TIR Carnet Holder must ensure that the TIR Carnet, the approved vehicle and the goods are properly presented to the relevant Customs offices at departure, en route and at destination. He must take reasonable steps to ensure that the TIR Carnet declaration of the goods corresponds to the goods actually being transported. If any of these responsibilities are not met, the Holder will be held accountable for paying the duties and taxes on the goods that are being transported, should they become due during the course of a TIR operation and may, in addition, be:

  • Penalised by the imposition of fines or penalties; and/or
  • Held financially responsible for the unlimited payment of all duties and taxes liable on the goods which, due to his action, have not been discharged by Customs.

A TIR Carnet Holder is a natural or legal person or company who is resident in the country where a TIR Association is established and who has been authorised by the TIR Association and the Customs authorities to receive and use TIR Carnets. Article 6 and Annex 9 Part II of the TIR Convention refer.

TIR Carnet FAQ

The TIR Carnet can be used for road transit movements that also involve a journey by sea or rail. If a TIR operational country has the facilities to handle the TIR Carnet for journeys other than by road legs, the use of multi-modal TIR Carnets is possible. If it is not possible then the TIR transport is suspended during that element of the journey, which is therefore not covered by the TIR guarantee. The TIR transport, and control of the TIR Carnet, will be resumed at the first Customs office in a TIR operational country.

If the driver/holder claims that the TIR Carnet has been stolen or lost, then he should immediately approach nearby customs or inform to the concern competent authorities in the country where he is in, in order to record the event and obtain a report.

Customs should inform to the association with the carnet details, whereby allowing association to invalidate the TIR carnet with the help of IRU.

If the holder wishes to continue the TIR journey, then he should approach the TIR association in order to get a new TIR Carnet and to continue the TIR journey.

It has been identified that the TIR Carnet counter foils are missing preceding customs stamps, then the concern customs authorities shall verify the TIR customs portal for electronic message availability and upon finding the message in the TIR customs portal, customs shall accept the TIR shipment and allow them to continue the TIR journey after performing relevant TIR operation at customs centre.

If at all the electronic message is not available in the TIR customs portal, customs shall request for custom declaration processed in the preceding customs and upon verification of document, would allow the TIR journey to be continued.

If both information are missing, customs shall physically inspect the goods, reseal the TIR load compartment upon satisfaction of inspection, and allow the TIR journey to be continued

Consider the TIR shipment started from origin prior the validity of TIR carnet was expired and upon arrival to Transit/Destination country’s Entry customs, the TIR carnet was expired, then Customs authorities should allow the holder to continue the TIR journey as per TIR convention.

When a holder presents the TIR carnet to the customs authorities, who is not the actual owner of the presented TIR carnet and not having a proper TIR sub-contracting agreement, then the customs authorities shall,

  • Not perform the commencement of TIR operation and request the holder to fulfill the TIR sub contracting agreement with the actual owner of the TIR Carnet.
  • Report the incident to the border manager for further actions.
  • Inspect the TIR load compartment and the goods as per the details mentioned in the TIR Carnet and in the pre declaration received through TIR EPD.
  • Upon satisfaction, shall endorse the amendment on the TIR carnet and allow the TIR journey to be continued.
  • If goods are missing, then ,enlist the missing/additional goods details (inspection report)
  • Report to Border Manager with TIR Carnet and Inspection Report
  • Border Manager shall analyze the incident and undertake further decision.

Yes, provided each of the containers is approved under the conditions set out at Chapter III (a) of the TIR Convention, and provided the Customs at the office of departure agree.

Yes. The term “combination of vehicles” means coupled vehicles that travel on the road as a single unit (article 1 (h) of the TIR Convention refers). However for a convoy of several different vehicles a separate TIR Carnet for each vehicle will be required.

Used TIR Carnets are returned to the Holder by the Customs. The Holder then returns the TIR Carnet to the issuing association to be checked and verified. These checks include documentary checks on the yellow goods manifest, the certified report form (procès-verbal) and the stamped counterfoils in the TIR Carnet. The checks will also consist of verification of termination data through SafeTIR. The TIR Carnet is subsequently returned by the issuing Association to IRU for archiving for about three years.

The price will vary as administrative and insurance costs will be different according to national conditions.

The TIR Carnet has a number of sets (pairs) of detachable vouchers (in French, “volets”) numbered 1 (white) and 2 (green). Normally one pair of vouchers (white and green) is needed for the transport of goods across the territory of each TIR operational country. The vouchers are filled in by the various actors. A guide on how to fill in the TIR Carnet is available to be downloaded free of charge from the IRU bookshop.

In accordance with the “Rules regarding the use of the TIR Carnet” (written in the TIR Carnet itself) it is stipulated in the item 12:Signature: All vouchers (items 14 and 15) must be dated and signed by the Holder of the TIR Carnet or his agent. It is stipulated in the TIR Carnet Holder’s Manual, Section 5, item 4, second bullet point:

  • complete boxes 2-12 and sign and date boxes 14 and 15 on all “volets” including the yellow manifest. Therefore, it is best if the Holder signs the TIR Carnet, even though it can be quite time-consuming.

TIR Carnets are issued by approved TIR issuing Associations (SATA in KSA) in the country in which the TIR Carnet Holder is established, or where the TIR transport begins. In special circumstances, a TIR Carnet may be issued to a foreign TIR Carnet Holder. In these cases, authorisation in writing from the Association to which the Holder belongs is required.

TIR Operation FAQ

All goods loaded in the same sealed load compartment are covered by the guarantee of the TIR Carnet; whether or not they are enumerated in the TIR Carnet (Article 31 of the TIR Convention refers). If goods are not intended to be carried under the TIR procedure, then they must not be carried in the sealed load compartment referred to on the TIR Carnet.

Yes, see Article 27 of the TIR Convention.

Customs should not normally require TIR transports to be escorted unless there is an increased risk of fraud that can be prevented by imposing escorts. The use of escorts should not be systematic. Article 23 of the TIR Convention refers. For information, under Article 20 of the TIR Convention Customs may fix time limits and prescribed routes to be followed by goods travelling under a TIR Carnet. If this is required, the details should be entered into field 20 of the vouchers of the TIR Carnet

No, the transport operator should make sure that other commercial documents that may be required such as CMR, phyto-sanitary certificates, veterinary certificates, certificates of origin etc. accompany the TIR Carnet and are mentioned in field 8 of the vouchers of the TIR Carnet.

SafeTIR is an electronic control system for TIR Carnets developed by the IRU to strengthen the security of the TIR system. Customs offices of destination send information to a central database at the IRU in Geneva to confirm the status of the termination of the TIR operation. This information is then made available to Customs worldwide. The issuing Association also enters information on issuance and return of the Carnet. The system enables TIR issuing Associations to cross-check the information given on TIR Carnets and to be certain that this information is accurate, and allows Customs to verify the termination of the TIR transport, and to have proof other than the receipt of the certificate of termination. SafeTIR now forms annex 10 to the TIR Convention.

It depends on the problem. Practice shows that drivers of TIR consignments will normally contact their own management, that is, the Holder of the TIR Carnet according to the details noted in field 4 of the cover page of the TIR Carnet. The Holder will contact the national TIR issuing Association. The issuing Association will contact the IRU, who will contact the national guaranteeing Association in the country where the problem occurs, with a view to resolving the problem. This Association can if necessary contact Customs in their country.

The country and office of destination to be shown in the TIR Carnet are those in the last TIR operational country of transit. In this case the office of destination will be a border-crossing point en route.

The TIR Convention enables the Customs authorities to certify the termination of a TIR transport with or without a reservation. If Customs have identified a discrepancy that requires further investigation they should indicate this by entering “R” on the green voucher (volet 2) and counterfoil of TIR Carnet relating to the office where the discrepancy was detected. It is important that the Customs state on the certified report (procès verbal) in the TIR carnet, clearly why a reservation has been given. Following the completion of the investigation Customs will either lift the reservation or will confirm that no termination has taken place.

No duties and taxes are payable in the event of proven destruction of goods being carried under a TIR Carnet (article 41 of the TIR Convention refers). Paragraphs 13-17 on the inside cover of the TIR Carnet describe the actions that must be taken in the event of an accident.

No. Under Article 15 of the TIR Convention, a Carnet de Passage should not normally be required for the temporary importation, and re-exportation of the means of transport of goods under a TIR carnet. The Carnet de Passage system is managed by AIT & FIA.

Customs will check that the seals affixed to the TIR load compartment are intact, have not been tampered with and that their identifying number matches what is stated on the TIR Carnet voucher. Customs will examine the truck to ensure that the load has not been interfered with en route. Customs will then break the seals, supervise the unloading of the goods and, on the basis of risk, may carry out a physical examination of the goods to ensure that the quality and quantity of the goods conforms to their description in the TIR Carnet. If satisfied, Customs will certify the termination of the TIR operation by completing and stamping the relevant green voucher 2 and its counterfoil in the TIR Carnet. The TIR Carnet will then be returned to the TIR Carnet Holder. The upper part of the green voucher 2 is retained by the Customs office of destination, and the lower part (also known as the certificate of termination) is returned to the Customs office of entry/departure for matching with the corresponding white voucher 1. The termination data of the TIR Carnet will then be transmitted by Customs to the IRU through the SafeTIR system. A guide on how to fill a TIR carnet is available.

In many countries Customs controls are based on risk and so the actual checks will vary. However Customs will be expected to inspect the seals to ensure that they have not been tampered with en route. Customs will also check the truck and the integrity of the load compartment to ensure that the load has not been interfered with en route by the removal or introduction of additional goods. Customs will also check the TIR Carnet and accompanying documents and the validity of the road vehicle approval certificate. Details on actions and steps to be taken at every stage of a TIR transport are explained in a guide on how to fill in the TIR Carnet which is available to be downloaded.

Customs will undertake a stringent inspection of the goods; the effective operation of the TIR procedure depends on this inspection, as explained in Article 19 of TIR Convention. Customs will check that the TIR Carnet is valid and will also verify the TIR Carnet details and any attached documents. In addition, Customs will check the vehicle and the load compartment(s), and verify the Road Vehicle Approval Certificate, which must be valid for the entire TIR operation, that is until the goods arrive at the office of destination. Once the goods are loaded Customs will seal the load compartment, complete and stamp the TIR Carnet as appropriate, tear off the first white voucher (volet 1) and return the TIR Carnet to the driver. The white voucher will be registered by Customs, awaiting the return of the certificate of termination from the green voucher (volet 2) from the Customs office of exit or destination. Depending on national arrangements, the white voucher (volet 1) may be filed either locally at the office of departure or at a central office.

Two situations must be distinguished:

  • 1. If the TIR Carnet holder only uses the vehicle of another company (but not the driver), this situation is possible, as long as all possible multilateral or bilateral transport agreements are fulfilled.
  • 2. However, if the holder uses the vehicle and the driver of another company, then this is a subcontractor situation.

In this case, the provisions of Section 7 of Part I of the Association’s TIR Manual shall be applied, according to which:

  • the TIR Carnet Holder must sign an Addendum to the Declaration of Engagement towards the association, accepting his liability for the TIR operations carried out by his sub-contractors;
  • the actual user of the TIR Carnet is in a direct contractual relationship with the holder named in box 3 of the TIR Carnet and is transporting goods on the latter’s behalf;
  • prior to any TIR operation, the TIR Carnet Holder must present a list of sub-contractors to his TIR association for approval. The Association shall check that the sub-contractors of this list have not been excluded or suspended or refused from the TIR system;
  • the following reference must appear in box 11 of the TIR Carnet cover: “XXX (sub-contractor name) acting on behalf of YYY (name of Holder) as a sub-contractor”.


This list is regularly adjusted but currently includes meat, livestock, milk, powdered milk, butter, margarine and sugar. In these cases the TIR Carnet Holder must deposit an additional high-risk guarantee amounting to USD 50,000.

The TIR Carnet Holder must report the matter to the national Customs authorities and/or police, depending on national rules. The authorities will complete the certified report (procès-verbal) in the TIR carnet. The loss of goods by fire or accident is considered “force majeure”, subject to certification provided by the competent authorities. In these cases the guarantee chain is released from its obligations and no duties or taxes are payable since there are no goods remaining. Article 41 of TIR Convention refers. It is the TIR Holder’s responsibility to make sure that the TIR Carnet is properly discharged, in cooperation with the national TIR association and the Customs authorities concerned. Failure to do so will lead to a liability for the payment of any claims that may arise.

Customs in the country where the irregularity is detected should start an investigation based on national law to identify the person liable for the duties and taxes that have become due (if any). Article 8 of the TIR Convention refers. A reservation should be noted in the TIR Carnet. The certified report (procès-verbal) form may have to be filled out. TIR Carnet formalities are described in detail in a brochure “How to Fill in a TIR Carnet” available on the IRU bookshop online. It is the TIR Holder’s responsibility to make sure that the TIR Carnet is properly discharged, in co-operation with the national TIR Association and the Customs authorities concerned. Failure to do so will lead to liability for the payment of any claims that may arise.

The Customs office of entry into the country of destination would notice that the consignment didn’t arrive at the destination as the certificate of termination was not returned within the specified time limits. They would check Cute-Wise to see if SafeTIR data is available from the Customs office of destination. If it was not available, then Customs would:

  • Make inquiries with the Holder and consignee, for an explanation of the discrepancy; if no satisfactory explanation is provided then Customs would: make a payment request to the person directly liable for payment (consignee or Holder) in accordance with article 8.7 of TIR Convention. If Customs cannot recover the duties and taxes from the Holder, they will:
  • Notify the national TIR guaranteeing Association of a possible claim for duties and taxes due as soon as possible but normally within one (1) year of taking the TIR Carnet into charge.
  • Make a payment request to the TIR guaranteeing Association and continue to request payment from the person directly liable (consignee or Holder) in accordance with article 8.7 of the TIR Convention.

In all cases of alleged irregularities, Customs should provide the proof which led them to their conclusions that there has been an irregularity. Customs should check the CUTE-Wise system and if termination records are missing the inquiry procedure should be initiated. If proof materials have not been presented articles 8 and 11 of the TIR Convention should be applied, meaning that the person directly liable has to be contacted and the correct time limits have to be respected.

Normally the maximum amount that is covered by the guarantee is USD 50,000 / EUR 100,000.

If the payment of duties and taxes becomes due, Customs must first approach the Holder or other person directly liable for payment. Only if this approach fails then they may contact the national guaranteeing Association. All national TIR Associations are members of the IRU umbrella scheme that guarantees payment of duties and taxes that may become due in any TIR operational country. Each Association guarantees duties and taxes at risk for foreign and national TIR Carnet Holders on their territory, thus all national guaranteeing Associations constitute a guarantee chain linking all TIR countries. This chain of guarantee was devised in order to ensure that Customs duties and taxes at risk during a TIR transport are covered at any moment by a national guaranteeing association. This is backed up by financial institutions. Today the only existing guaranteeing chain for TIR is administered and backed by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva, Switzerland. Full details are given in the introduction to the TIR Handbook. http://www.unece.org/trans/bcf/tir/tir-hb.html

TIR stands for “Transports Internationaux Routiers” which in English means International Road Transport. It is an international system allowing goods to travel across one or more borders with a minimum of Customs interference whilst in transit, providing at least part of the journey is carried out by road. The TIR system operates in any country that is a Contracting Party to the TIR Convention 1975, provided the country has established the relevant contractual arrangements. Goods travelling under TIR are covered by a TIR Carnet and this means they may pass through these countries without paying Customs duties and taxes and without the need for unloading/reloading at frontiers. The United Nations, on behalf of the Contracting Parties, has mandated the International Road Transport Union (IRU) to administer the TIR system and in particular the guarantee system

The TIR Handbook containing background information, the text of the TIR Convention, 1975 and explanatory notes and comments is available from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) in Geneva, or on the following website : http://www.unece.org/hk/tir/tirconv/conv75.html

The TIR system is based on six main principles:

  1. The goods are carried in secure road vehicles (including trailers, semi-trailers), or in containers that have been approved for Customs sealing under the TIR Convention. The only exception to this rule is if the goods are designated as heavy and bulky goods; this must be noted on the goods manifest of the TIR Carnet;
  2. The Customs duties and taxes at risk in each TIR operational country are covered up to a fixed amount by an internationally valid guarantee represented by the TIR Carnet;
  3. The goods are documented on and accompanied by a TIR Carnet which is the harmonised Customs declaration;
  4. Customs control measures applied in the country of departure should be accepted by the countries of transit and destination;(mutual recognition of Customs Control)
  5. Access to use the TIR system is controlled by the Customs authorities and the national transport Associations. National associations wishing to issue and guarantee TIR Carnets must fulfil minimum financial and commercial conditions and requirements before authorisation is granted. Similarly, transport operators wishing to use TIR Carnets must be of sound financial standing and must have no record of serious or repeated offences against Customs or tax legislation. The minimum admission requirements must be fulfilled before access is granted to both Associations and transport operators. Parts I and II of Annex 9 to the TIR Convention refer;
  6. Electronic information confirming the partial or final termination of all TIR operations must be sent to the international organisation (the IRU) by each Customs authority where the unloading takes place (This is known as SafeTIR termination data. Details are contained in Annex 10 to the TIR Convention).

For the Customs authorities

  • duties and taxes at risk are guaranteed (currently up to USD 50,000/EUR1,00,000 );
  • only authorised transport operators are permitted to use TIR Carnets, thus reducing risks;
  • the need for physical inspection of goods in transit is greatly reduced;
  • the system facilitates Customs control and documentation; and use of inland Customs offices for the application of export and import controls allows more efficient deployment of Customs personnel and avoids congestion at the border.

TIR Vehicle Inspection FAQ

Yes. The term “heavy or bulky goods” covers any heavy or bulky object, which because of its weight, size or nature is not normally carried in a closed vehicle or closed container. This can range from large machinery to livestock. Article 1 (p) of the TIR Convention refers. In such cases box 11 of the cover page of the TIR Carnet must be endorsed to the effect that heavy or bulky goods are being transported. The yellow manifest and each voucher of the Carnet must similarly be endorsed. Any additional documents such as photographs or plans required by Customs to identify heavy or bulky goods should be attached to the Carnet and noted in box 8 of every voucher in the TIR Carnet.

Customs authorities identified that the vehicle number mentioned on the TIR Carnet and in the TIR EPD is different from that of the actual vehicle presented to the customs under TIR regime, then

– Transit/Destination Country’s Entry Customs

  • Customs shall inspect the TIR load compartment and report to border manager for approval, based on the decision from border manager,
  • Request the holder to amend the vehicle details in the TIR EPD and in the TIR Carnet.
  • Accept the new TIR EPD message and endorse the changes on the TIR Carnet.
  • Perform “TIR transit released” with reservation in TIR Customs Portal and mention the reservation on TIR Carnet.
  • If not, customs shall perform “Transit Rejected” with reservation and allow the holder to follow national regulation if holder wishes to continue the journey.

Upon identification of expired TIR vehicle approval certificate by the customs authorities during the TIR transit, Customs shall

  • Will not allow the TIR operation to be continued further, but allow them to proceed with national regulation if deems to be suitable.
  • Request to the holder to change the vehicle with TIR approved vehicle

Upon identification of fraudulent TIR vehicle approval certificate by the customs authorities during the TIR transit, Customs shall

  • Halt the TIR journey from its continuation and impose national regulations.
  • Report the incident to border manager for further action.

– Upon identification of the incident that the vehicle presented to customs along with goods are not a TIR approved vehicle then

–  Entry Customs (Transit/Destination)

  • Will not allow the TIR operation to be continued further but allow them to proceed with national regulation if deems to be suitable.
  • Request to the holder to change the vehicle with TIR approved vehicle
  • Transit Country’s Entry customs shall allow the TIR journey with the same vehicle if it deems to be safe and secure and the defect is minor.
  • Mention the defect on the TIR Vehicle certificate.
  • If the defect is major and concerning the security of the goods, customs shall
  • Mention the defect on the TIR Vehicle certificate.
  • Customs might request holder to arrange for a new TIR vehicle with good condition and allow the holder to cross load the goods into new vehicle in the presence of customs;
  • Seal the load compartment; accept the amendment in the TIR EPD regarding the new TIR vehicle and mention the reservation on the TIR carnet certified report.
  • Allow the TIR shipment to proceed further.
  • If not, terminate or Reject the TIR operation and allow the holder to follow national regulation if deems to be suitable.
  • If the defective vehicle is repeatedly used without correction, customs inspectors shall report the incident to border managers for further action.
  • Notify the driver to arrange for a TIR plate from national association.
  • Considering the incident as minor offence and as long as the TIR load compartment is secured and seal is intact, allow the TIR journey to be continued with a warning message to the holder.
  • However, if the incident is been repeated by the holder, report to border manager along with TIR Carnet for further action.

Yes, as stated in Article 3 of Annex 2 to the TIR Convention, sheeted vehicles are permitted to transport goods under a TIR Carnet, provided the specifications of the load compartment conform to the regulations on technical conditions applicable to road vehicles set out in articles 1 & 2 of Annex 2 of the TIR Convention. All vehicles that are to be used for TIR transports must have a valid certificate of approval that is carried with the vehicle.

The driver (TIR Carnet Holder) must contact the competent authority (usually the Customs authorities) before unloading the goods into another vehicle. This requirement may be relaxed in situations posing an imminent danger to the truck or the goods carried. If appropriate, Customs will supervise the reloading of the goods and should complete the certified report (procès-verbal) form at the end of the TIR Carnet, and indicate whether or not any of the goods have been destroyed. Details of the new truck must be entered on the certified report (procès-verbal) of the TIR Carnet. If a new TIR Carnet Holder takes over the TIR transport, a new TIR Carnet will have to be opened. In this case, the TIR Carnet that has been used up to the event of the accident will have to be terminated by the Customs authorities. The inside cover of the TIR Carnet paragraphs 13 to 17 describe the actions that must be taken in the event of an accident. Also, details on actions and steps to be taken at every stage of a TIR transport are explained in a guide on how to fill in the TIR Carnet.

In order to be accepted for international road transport under Customs seal, a the load compartment of a road vehicle must be physically secure so that once it has been sealed by Customs, no goods can be introduced or removed from the load compartment without breaking the seal. It must therefore comply with the regulations on the technical specifications as set out in Annex 2 of the TIR Convention. Vehicles that conform to the specification will be issued with a Road Vehicle Approval Certificate by the competent authority in each Contracting Party. Annex 3 of the TIR Convention sets out the approval procedure and Annex 4 contains a model certificate of approval of a road vehicle. Similar rules apply to containers – see Annex 7 of the TIR Convention