While India joined the United Nation’s Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) convention in March earlier this year, it will see the first consignment of goods dispatched to Russia from Mumbai port on January 16 under the convention. The TIR convention is an international transit system meant to facilitate seamless movement of goods within and among the parties to the convention. Currently, there are 71 parties to the convention, including the European Union. “The exports will have goods going via Iran to countries like Russia and Turkey,” said Sandeep Kumar, commissioner (customs & EP), CBEC. He added that the consignment would reach its destination in half the time under TIR route compared to old routes.
The TIR routes used for exports would do away with the the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders as well as physical escorts. Further, customs clearance can take place at internal customs locations thereby avoiding clearances at border crossing points and ports that may often be congested. “Earlier exports would go through three to four international borders but this route via Iran seems less time consuming. Our focus is to transport goods exempting them from any duty or tax,” Kumar added. A dry run conducted by a freight association found that TIR routes led to halving of time and cost of such transport. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was appointed by CBEC as national guaranteeing association for the operation of TIR system in India. Movement under the TIR can be allowed by checking only the seals and the external conditions of the load compartment or the container thereby reducing border delays, transport and transaction costs.