AHYAN. SHARJAH (United Arab Emirates) — IRU member, PNC-ICC, issued the first TIR carnet this week to Pakistani transport operator, TCS Logistics, ahead of the departure today, which is marked by a ceremony in Karachi.
Today’s launch [Saturday 13/10] follows recent meetings in Istanbul between Afghanistan and Pakistan — where TIR was highlighted as the customs standard to facilitate transport and transit between the two countries and the two TIR actors agreed to initiate test operations from Karachi to Kabul and vice versa.
Savings in time and costs were already reported by an Afghan transport operator last week, which sent three trucks from Torkham, Afghan-Pakistan border crossing point, to Dushanbe, Tajikistan using TIR. TIR was also particularly useful in avoiding large trans-shipment costs at the border with Tajikistan.
IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, said, “With The TIR system now live in Pakistan, we will see the potential unleashed for Pakistan to become a pivotal transit country linking China to the Middle East and Africa.”
Mr. Muhammad Javed Ghani, Director General Transit Trade from Pakistan Customs added, “The TIR system offers a solution for harmonised processes at borders across the region and we should now see cross border transport and transit become much more streamlined and secured.”
Tariq M. Rangoonwala, Chair of PNC-ICC, added, “We are delighted to see the first TIR trucks leaving Karachi today. This is the next milestone in our strategy to streamline transport and trade in the region, which will benefit the economies and the communities along these corridors in Pakistan and beyond.”
There is now full momentum to use TIR in more transit routes from neighbouring countries including Pakistan and Iran to Central Asia to reduce the cost and time of regional transports even further. The activation of these corridors, which straddle East and West, is critical to the development of the region and the advancement of trade.
Next steps include the activation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the TIR system, which will connect China with the Middle East and Africa.
In addition, the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad trade corridor, which has the potential to link Pakistan to the markets of Iran, Central Asia, Turkey and eventually Europe will be activated under TIR system and saw the first inbound TIR operation from Iran to Pakistan earlier this year.
The only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders, TIR “Transports Internationaux Routiers”has been supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, by allowing customs-sealed vehicles and freight containers to transit countries with minimal border checks. It is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention and managed by the world road transport organisation, IRU. Pakistan’s national issuing and guaranteeing association is the Pakistan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (PNC-ICC).
IRU is the world road transport organisation, promoting economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods. Founded in 1948, IRU has members and activities in more than 100 countries.
Founded in 1955, the Pakistan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce is a multilateral rule-making body for promoting trade and investment. It is the designated National Guaranteeing and Issuing Organisation for TIR in Pakistan and has established a purpose-built TIR Center in Karachi for the administration of the system.