Linking the TIR System
An industry meeting held in Beirut (Lebanon) recently ascertained that the global transit standard TIR can save countries in the Arab world up to 57% in time and 38% in the costs of intermodal road transport activities.
The TIR system has been completely implemented in the United Arab Emirates since the end of last year and will initially be used in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah over the next few months. At an official media meeting held in Dubai on 18 December to present the latest developments, Umberto de Pretto, the secretary general of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), said that “TIR’s capacity to facilitate trade along important trade corridors linking South Asia and China to the Middle East is particularly significant. We’re very pleased to be working with our partners in the UAE to ensure the launch of TIR operations here, so that trade can continue to grow.”
The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the national IRU member, and the country’s federal customs authority are amongst the most important partners in this endeavour. The TIR system will subsequently be extended to cover all seven of the emirates in the UAE, with plans for its use in intermodal transport operations already in the pipeline, according to the representatives of the organisations present. The UAE has no less than 45 free-trade zones, including 20 in Dubai alone, making the country an important trade hub. TIR offers a great potential to improve connectivity between ports and free-trade zones and integrate them into the global logistics chain, the managers added.
India and China, the United Arab Emirates’ strongest trading partners, recently also acceded to the TIR Convention of 1975. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which looks after matters in this field in parts of the Middle East, reported recently that Palestine became the 72nd signatory to the TIR Convention on 3 January, with the system set to enter into force there on 29 June 2018.