India steps-up trade ambitions with launch of TIR

India implements TIR today, activating regional connectivity and advancing the country’s global trade prospects.

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, 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.