'TIR' stands for Transports Internationaux Routiers (International Road Transport) and is an international harmonised system of Customs control that facilitates trade and transport while effectively protecting the revenue of each Country through which goods are carried.
TIR is an international Customs transit system for goods carried by road which facilitates international movement of goods across the borders of countries that have ratified the TIR Convention, while offering a high level of security. It 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.
In 1949, shortly after World War II, the first TIR Agreement was concluded between a small number of European countries and led to the elaboration of the TIR Convention in 1954 under the umbrella of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
At the beginning of 2010 the TIR System has 68 Contracting Parties on four continents.
Many more countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America have demonstrated their interest in acceding to the system in the near future.
Over the past 10 years the number of TIR Carnets issued and per year was around 1.5 million.
The TIR System has proved to be extremely successful and is the only global Customs transit system in existence. This popularity can be explained by the special features of the TIR regime, which offers transport operators and Customs authorities a simple, flexible, cost-effective and secure system for the international transport of goods across frontiers.
Quick Facts About UN TIR