The principles of TIR convention

The principles of TIR convention

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The customs convention of international freight transport and TIR carnets are applied to all international shipments for road vehicles, road trains and containers that cross one or more borders and which do not include the reloading of cargo. The cargo can be transported between the customs points of several countries that have joined the convention or inside one country, provided that TIR operation is carried out on road from the beginning till the end.

TIR system has five main principles:

The goods must be transported in trucks or containers that eliminate the unauthorized access.

In order to guarantee the immunity of the cargo, the TIR convention provides that the goods must be transported in closed containers or in cargo space that is constructed in a way that eliminates the access to the cargo. The closed truck or container cannot be opened without leaving visible marks on the body of the truck or without damaging the customs temple or seal. In order to provide the fulfilment of this requirement, the convention provides construction standards for trucks/containers and prerequisites that allow them to participate in TIR procedure.

In case there is a possibility of outstanding customs duty and other taxes, then these are paid by the international warranty association.

The other principle of TIR procedure is the international warranty system. Its essence includes the payment of customs duties and other taxes by a national warranty association accepted by the customs organ, in case the carrier violates the regulations of TIR convention on the territory of the corresponding country. The national warranty society guarantees the payments of customs duty and other taxes of both local and foreign carriers, provided that the carrier owns a TIR carnet — a warranty issued by the warranty associations of the countries that are participating in the convention.

Basically, the international warranty system means the payment of customs duty in the form of surety. In case the carrier violates the customs legislation, the customs organs have the right to demand the payment of customs duty by the national warranty association.

The cargo must always be accompanied with the TIR carnet, acknowledged by all the countries who have joined the convention, and that is formalised in the country of dispatch and that acts as a control document in countries of dispatch, transit and destination.

The TIR carnet is the only customs document throughout the transport process and according to TIR procedure, it proves the existence of the international warranty of the transported cargo.

TIR carnets are issued by national warranty association and it does not require the filling in of additional customs documents when crossing the borders of the countries of dispatch, transit and destination.

TIR carnet is valid till the arrival to the destination customs office, provided that the operation started duly in the starting point, as marked in the TIR carnet issued by the warranty association.

The measures of the customs inspection of the destination country must be accepted by all the countries of dispatch and transit.

The fourth principle of TIR system is the recognition of the customs inspection of the destination country by the countries of dispatch and transit. This means that the customs office of another country does not generally reinspect the content of a sealed truck or container. This is the biggest advantage of the carriers joined with TIR procedure.

Selective inspection is allowed if the customs organ has a reason to believe that the freight transport violates the Customs Act. But these cases are rather exceptional.

Controlled access to TIR procedure

The controlled access to TIR procedure means that the customs organs are obliged to control the access of all the carriers to the TIR system. The convention provides minimal requirements and conditions to the carriers, which include a strong financial position, absence of previous serious or recurrent violation of customs or tax laws and representation in the national warranty association. The latter also issues TIR carnets that are written declaration about the obligations of the carrier.

Data about all the carriers using the TIR carnets is stored in the International Data Base (IDB), which is supported by unique identification numbers provided by the management of TIR in Genova. IDB also monitors the granting or non-granting of membership according to article 38.


© Агеев М.В., 2009-2010

©ООО «Таможенный Эксперт»., 2009-2010