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Prasad asked: What is the significance of TIR convention in facilitating cross border trade and for BBIN?

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  • Nihar Nayak replies: In June 2017, India became the 71st country to ratify the TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers or International Road Transports) Convention, an international customs transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).  At the time of Cabinet approval in March 2017 for India’s accession to the TIR Convention, it was stated that “By joining the convention, the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders as well as physical escorts en route shall be obviated due to reciprocal recognition of Customs controls. Customs clearance can take place at internal Customs locations thereby avoiding clearances at Border Crossing Points and ports that may often be congested. 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 thereby leading to increased competitiveness and growth for the trade and transport sectors.”

    This Convention would help India and its friendly neighbours in the following ways:

    • In facilitating seamless movement of goods across territories, especially among immediate neighbours.
    • In strengthening India’s trade relations with BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member countries – more convenient for smaller neighbours to do trade with India under this convention.
    • In enhancing both intra-BBIN and inter-regional trade. TIR could be treated as value addition to the existing BBIN-Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA). The BBIN member countries would also benefit indirectly by India’s access to transnational multi-modal connectivity.

    Posted on July 10, 2019

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India.

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