ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the accession to TIR Convention has come at the most auspicious time as the work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is underway and the prospects of enhancing trade with Iran after lifting of sanctions have become aperceptible reality.
He made these remarks in a seminar ‘Pakistan’s recent accession to TIR Convention and its Implementation in Pakistan’ organized by the Ministry of Commerce. The seminar was attended by officials from Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Communications, Planning Commission and Pakistan National Committee of International Chambers of Commerce.
Speakers at the occasion highlighted the opportunities and challenges which arose as a result of Pakistan’s recent accession to the TIR Convention. In his inaugural address, the minister said that Pakistan’s geopolitical location in the heart of main North-South and East-West Corridors makes this region a natural bridge between Asia and Europe via its transport communications. He said that Pakistan offers optimum access to the land-locked Central Asian Republics-TIR Community to the Arabian Sea and beyond which will tremendously increase the transit and trade opportunity for Pakistan.
Replying to a question, the minister said that accession to the TIR Convention will provide a great opportunity for Pakistani trucking and freight industry to upgrade and expand its fleet as TIR provides some minimum specifications for the trucks which could move under the TIR Carnet. He said that accession to TIR Convention will create new TIR Corridors, linking Central and South Asia as well as China with Turkey and Europe which in turn will enhance Pakistan’s connectivity in the region. On 21st July this year, the United Nations accepted Pakistan’s Instrument of Accession to the Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods (TIR Convention). The Convention will enter into force for Pakistan on 21st January 2016, six months after its acceptance by the UN.
TIR Convention provides that goods would be accompanied by an internationally accepted Customs document (TIR Carnet), opened in the country of departure and serving as a Customs control document in the countries of departure, transit and destination. Goods would travel in Customs secure vehicles or containers and throughout the journey, duties and taxes at risk would be covered by an internationally valid guarantee. Customs control measures taken in the country of departure would be accepted by all countries of transit and destination.
In his address, Tariq M. Rangoonwala, Chairman Pakistan National Committee of International Chambers of Commerce said that TIR system has six core pillars: secure vehicles or containers, international guarantee chain, TIR Carnet, reciprocal recognition of customs control, controlled access by Customs and International Road Transport Union and TIR IT risk management tools. He said that the Customs IT system WeBOCis an effective and efficient Customs operations system with appropriate portals to accommodate international transit movements. Other speakers said that across the world hundreds of thousands vehicles travel under TIR Carnet thus saving time, fuel and money.