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What is TIR

How TIR works

Cuts transport time by up to 80% and costs by up to 38%

TIR is a globally applicable international customs transit and guarantee system. It enables goods to be shipped from a country of origin, through transit countries, to a country of destination in sealed load compartments that are controlled by customs via a multilateral, mutually recognized system. It is the easiest, safest and most reliable way to move goods across multiple international borders, saving time and money for transport operators and customs authorities.

It is the key to faster border crossings for truck drivers, which means lower costs for transport and logistics companies and customs authorities. TIR also directly contributes to implementing key goals of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) such as measures to enhance transparency, clearance of goods, freedom of transit and customs cooperation, and the publication and availability of information.

An Unified Global Transit System

Established in 1949 to help rebuild a war-torn Europe, TIR has proved to be an effective tool to build international trade and commercial links. In 1959 the United Nations underpinned the TIR Convention, starting one of its most successful public-private partnerships, and set the foundations for the only globally applicable customs transit system.
Today TIR has more than 70 contracting countries around the world, and it is expanding rapidly with over 20 countries looking to join.

TIR streamlines procedures at borders, reducing the administrative burden for customs authorities and for transport and logistics companies. It cuts border waiting times significantly, saving time and money.
TIR authorized operators can move goods quickly across multiple customs territories, under customs control, using a single guarantee. Harmonized systems and data exchange tools mean that operators only need to submit their declaration data once for the entire transit movement.
Each TIR transport from start to end of the journey is monitored on-line, so goods can be traced and secured while in transit.

Over 34,000 transport and logistics companies worldwide use TIR to quickly and reliably move goods across international borders.
TIR is only open to authorized operators, who are admitted to the system by the customs administration in collaboration with the national TIR association.
Criteria for joining TIR is based on their professionalism and compliance, not based on company or fleet size. TIR is open to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) as well as large operators.

Goods moving under TIR arrive at borders in containers or load compartments that have been sealed by the customs office of departure.
Containers and load compartments that are used for TIR transports are pre-approved by customs, ensuring that nothing can be added or removed without detection. This reduces the need for routine physical inspections at borders along the way.
Modern TIR IT tools ensure that all public and private sector actors involved in a TIR operation have access to the data they need. These tools allow cargo details to be sent electronically and simultaneously to multiple border crossings before the truck arrives at departure and entry points. This enables customs officials to carry out better risk assessments and prioritise inspections.
They also make it easy to comply with electronic advance cargo information, which is compulsory for shipping goods into multiple jurisdictions.

TIR is globally applicable, and uses a single international guarantee, thus eliminating the need for costly guarantees in each country of transit.

The TIR guarantee covers the customs duties and taxes at risk, up to a maximum protection of EUR 100,000 per transport operation, so customs authorities can be confident any duties they are owed will be paid. In fact, the international guarantee chain can handle exposure on any given day of up to EUR 600 million.