Using TIR

Working together to boost trade

TIR has made trade faster, easier and more secure for more than 60 years

Thousands of truck drivers and customs officials in almost 60 countries know the iconic TIR Carnet, a tangible symbol of international trade.

TIR is the world’s only universal customs transit system

TIR for transport operators

If you move goods internationally by truck, plane or ship, TIR enables your freight to cross borders with minimum delay at customs points.

Easily passing through borders makes the journey quicker: international transport operators save time, and money.

At the outset of a journey, your cargo is sealed in a container, or approved load compartment, displaying the TIR plaque and is protected with a customs seal.

TIR as such is a guarantee for payment of duties and taxes at border crossings.

Saving time and money means that TIR helps, in particular, small and medium-sized transport operators and businesses to competitively access global markets.

TIR for customs officials

TIR goods arrive in sealed vehicles or containers, avoiding the need for customs officials to physically open and inspect shipment contents.

Inspections are time consuming and require manpower. With TIR however, customs officials only need to check the customs seals, and the external conditions of the load compartment and the accompanying TIR Carnet.

TIR also acts as a guarantee for duties and taxes, which are covered up to EUR 100,000 per TIR transport.

Paperwork is also more easily managed as all transit declaration information is contained in a single document, the TIR Carnet, as well as electronically, in advance, with TIR-EPD.

The TIR plaque

You may have seen the blue TIR rectangle on trucks, but what does it actually mean?

These vehicles belong to transport companies that have been accredited to the TIR System: a harmonised international convention that allows goods to travel through multiple countries without losing time with lengthy customs procedures.

The TIR Carnet

The TIR Carnet is an internationally recognised harmonised customs transit document that accompanies the truck driver and the cargo across customs points from origin to destination.

The TIR Carnet also provides customs with an international guarantee to cover the duties and taxes for goods transported under TIR procedure.

Every Carnet has a special reference number, and with varying numbers of vouchers. One pair of vouchers is used per country or per place of loading and unloading. The number of vouchers indicates the number of countries or single customs areas that can be crossed or the number of loadings and unloadings that can be done.

Each TIR Carnet can be used for one TIR journey. The driver is handed back the TIR Carnet, which is stamped by the customs authorities, at the final destination.

Customs authorities then immediately confirm electronically that the goods have arrived at their final destination and the transit operation is terminated, by sending to the IRU SafeTIR data.

The TIR Carnet is then physically returned, via the relevant member association, to IRU for final control and archiving.

TIR Electronic Pre-Declarations

TIR journeys into the European Union and other places are even faster and more efficient with IRU’s TIR-EPD a free-of-charge web-based application available in 18 languages that  allows transport operators to send advance information on goods transported under TIR procedure.

Here, the transport company submits advance cargo information using a digital platform to all customs authorities along the designated route.

This is mandatory for all freight shipments into the EU, and also now for all shipments into the Eurasian Customs Union, Iran, and Ukraine.

Other countries are currently assessing the introduction of advance electronic information, in line with the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards.

Data received in advance allows customs authorities to assess the risk profile of transported goods before the transport arrives at the border. Customs officials do not need to enter data manually, contributing to faster and easier processes.