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India steps-up trade ambitions with launch of global customs transit system – TIR

International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) Download logo

As India celebrates its Independence Day, the launch of the multimodal and digital TIR ( customs transit system looks set to revolutionise the country’s trade and transit potential.

The implementation of TIR in India echoes the impressive developmental progress of the nation, with this latest milestone taking regional connectivity to the next level. It will be easier and more efficient to move cargo along multiple trade corridors, including the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) via Iran. 

The INSTC provides global access to markets, connecting India to the wider TIR network, including Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia and Central Asia.

TIR could also contribute to the implementation of regional Motor Vehicle Agreements, which will help India integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.  

Deputy Secretary General , Mr Nirankar Saxena from The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which led the process, said: “The challenge of expanding regional trade has been the incompatibility of transport and customs systems – in particular across the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) sub-region. These countries need a practical tool – like TIR – to make bilateral and regional transport arrangements operational and to facilitate the movement of goods across borders.”

He added, “We are grateful for the Government’s support and in particular the support of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), and the collaboration with IRU in helping to put TIR into practice.”

Rapid TIR implementation is also critical in helping India implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Umberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General said: “We are deeply impressed with the full mobilisation of India’s resources and transport community to swiftly accede to and operationalise the TIR system. The momentum builds as we now focus our joint efforts on promoting TIR accession among India’s neighbours.”

India’s accession to the TIR Convention last year prefaced strong commitment from government and business leaders to making TIR the national customs standard.

The TIR system secures customs duties and taxes and provides a robust guarantee mechanism, thereby reducing trade transaction costs, and facilitating higher growth of intra-regional and inter-regional trade.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Road Transport Organisation (IRU).

Contact Karen Mazzoli Senior Manager – Media and Communications, IRU Geneva +41-22-918 27 96 (direct)  +41-79-633 89 53 (mobile)


About TIR TIR ( is the only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders. Supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, TIR is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention, overseen by UNECE, and managed by IRU. TIR stands for “Transports Internationaux Routiers”. One of the most successful international transport conventions, TIR makes border crossings faster, more secure and more efficient, reducing transport costs, and boosting trade and development.

About IRU IRU ( is the world’s 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. IRU conceived TIR in 1949, and manages the system to this day.

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