OFAE has been acting as the national guaranteeing association in the TIR system, since 1956, authorized by the Greek Ministry of Finance. Throughout all these years, the optimisation of the benefits of the TIR systme, both for transport operators and for the Greek customs as well, has been a priority for OFAE, whereas during the last decade our efforts are focused in the modernisation of the system, by its digitalision, in order to meet the needs of the modern market.
In this regard, a meeting was held a few days ago, at our headquarters in Athens, with the UNECE Chief Transport Facilitation & Economics, Mr. Costas Alexopoulos, who is also acting as TIR Secretary and therefore is responsible for the coordination of the TIR system worldwide. A key focus of the discussion has been the common objective of both sides to enhance the competitiveness of TIR, as well as to accelerate its digitalisation.
TIR operates as an international trade faciliation tool, ensuring the safe and secure cross border transport of the goods, while at the same time acts as an international guarantee of the duties and taxes of transported goods towards customs authorities. It is the easiest, safest and most reliable way to ship goods internationally, saving both time and money for both carriers and customs authorities.
Both sides agreed that immediate action should be taken to ensure the smooth operation of the system while making it modern, competitive and responsive to the fast changing global market. OFAE has expressed support for any action in this direction and is ready to cooperate with any relevant body and public authority to this end.
It was also made clear that Greece can play an important role in this transitional period, as it holds a strategic role in international trade due to its geographical position.