China’s launches TIR operations in major stage of Belt and Road Initiative

23 May 2018


China has opened its borders to TIR (“Transports Internationaux Routiers”) the global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders in what is seen as a major stage in its ambitious Belt and Road initiative to open up trade and economic development with the West.

A ceremony attended by transport and customs leaders from China and Russia at Dalian, China, a key port in north east Asia and one of six ‘TIR-ready’ gateways on the Belt and Road, heralded China’s launch of the TIR system which connects 73 countries and will create up to 80 per cent time savings in China where it will enhance links between countries on routes across the region.

The ceremony marked the first TIR convoy on the 5,600 km journey from Dalian to Novosibirsk, Russia. TIR will play a pivotal role along the new route by accelerating customs clearance and efficiency. 

China’s adoption of TIR will see its goods being exported globally with greater efficiency, while foreign imports will be faster and safer with the potential to increase total trade among China and other major countries along the Belt and Road route by up to USD 13.6bnl, 1.4 per cent of China’s total exports.

At the Dalian ceremony, Umberto de Pretto, secretary general of world road transport organisation, IRU, which aims to promote economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods, said: “TIR is set to transform China’s links with its neighbours, bringing benefits across the region and facilitating the goals of the Belt and Road initiative.

“The start of TIR operations sends a strong signal to the world that China is opening up its markets and connecting more efficiently across its borders.” 

The six Belt and Road gateways selected to start TIR operations are: Dalian in Liaoning, the trade gateway towards the Pacific; Erenhot in Inner Mongolia; Horgos in Xinjiang, which borders Kazakhstan; Irkeshtam in Xinjiang, which borders Kyrgyzstan; Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia and Suifenhe Port in Heilongjiang which both border Russia.

China ratified the UN TIR Convention in July 2016, becoming the 70th contracting party.


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