TIR stands for International Road Transport, and is an international harmonised customs transit system facilitating trade and transport, whilst effectively protecting the revenue of each country through which goods are carried.
Since 1959, the TIR system, which is managed by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva, has become known for its reliability and safety, whereas it ensures fast and effective management throughout a transport. Moreover, it allows international transport of goods across the borders on condition that part of the journey is made by road.
The TIR system today
To date, the TIR system has 68 contracting parties (including the EU) in four continents, while 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 per year was around 3 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 system, which offers transport operators and Customs authorities a simple, flexible, cost-effective and secure system for the international transport of goods across frontiers.
Advantages of the TIR system
- A single form for transport to all countries. Forms are simplified and standardised.
- A single guarantee system for all TIRs throughout the journey. There is no need to make Customs guarantee deposits at transit borders.
- Each TIR includes a single guarantee for the amount of EUR 60,000 to Customs Offices.
- A single TIR for all transported goods.
- A single guarantee for the entire container, regardless of the number of recipients.
- A single TIR customs form for the entire load. Goods move across international frontiers with minimal interference.
- Apart from the National Federation, no other representative is necessary in countries where the guarantee is valid.
- Using the TIR system guarantees safe and secure transports, since it is the only system using duly authorised Greek transport operators.