UN TIR Convention 1975

Table of Contents


‘TIR’ (Transports Internationaux Routiers or International Road Transport) is an international transit system based on a UN Convention implemented at a global level in a Public-Private Partnership. The TIR System has been facilitating and securing trade and international road transport for over 60 years, by allowing customs-sealed vehicles and freight containers to transit countries without border checks.

The Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) was drafted in 1975. It replaces the original Transport Internationaux Routier (TIR) Convention from 1959 and came into force on 20 March 1978.

Pakistan became a member of the TIR (International Road Transport) Convention in 2017 which has 77 contracting parties including China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and all Central Asian Republics (CARs). After becoming a member, Pakistan notified the following sea and land border points as TIR crossings:

  • Sust (Khunjerab) with China
  • Torkham and Chaman with Afghanistan
  • Taftan with Iran
  • Gwadar and Karachi are two seaports

The 5 pillars of the TIR system

Secure vehicles or containers

  • No goods can be removed from or introduced into the sealed part
  • Customs seal: simply and effectively
  • No concealed spaces
  • All spaces accessible for customs
    • Detailed technical regulations in the Annexes of the Convention
    • Certificate of approval

International guarantee

  • Organised by the IRU
  • Customs claim against the national association in their country:

When there is a problem in country C with a TIR Carnet issued in country A the customs of country C can claim the duties against the national association in country C (IRU organises the settlement of claim between national associations of countries A and C and the insurers).

The TIR carnet

  • One single document, security elements, proof of guarantee, printing, and distribution by the IRU

Mutual recognition of customs controls

  • Article 5: Goods carried under the TIR procedure in sealed road vehicles, combinations of vehicles, or containers shall not as a general rule be subjected to examination at customs offices en route.

Controlled access (Annex 9)

  • Customs authorities give access to the TIR procedure:
    1. To the international organization to distribute TIR Carnets and manage the guarantee chain.
    2. To national associations to issue TIR Carnets and act as guarantors.
    3. For transport operators to utilize TIR Carnets.

Key Provisions

Overview of Annex 11 of the Convention

  • Article 1: Scope of application
  • Article 2: Definitions
  • Article 3: Implementation of the eTIR procedure
  • Article 4: Composition, functions and rules of procedure of the Technical Implementation Body
  • Article 5: Adoption and amendment procedures for the eTIR specifications
  • Article 6: Submission of advance cargo information
  • Article 7: Authentication of the holder
  • Article 8: Mutual recognition of the authentication of the holder
  • Article 9: Additional data requirements
  • Article 10: Fallback procedure
  • Article 11: Hosting of the eTIR international system
  • Article 12: Administration of the eTIR international system
  • Article 13: Publication of the customs offices capable of handling eTIR
  • Article 14: Legal requirements for data submission under Annex 10 of the TIR Convention

Ratification Status

Member State Date of Accession
Pakistan 21 Jul 2015
Russian Federation 8 Jun 1982
Uzbekistan 28 Sep 1995
Iran 16 Aug 1984
Turkey 12 Nov 1984
Afghanistan 23 Sep 1982

Recent Developments

  • First shipment under TIR convention for Uzbekistan leaves

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with TCS Logistics (Pakistan), successfully launched the first pilot shipment to Central Asia under the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention, a customs agreement that facilitates the international transport of goods. The trial shipment cargo, consisting of herbal medicines destined for Uzbekistan, departed Karachi on April 29, 2021 and arrived in Tashkent on May 4, 2021 via the Karachi-Kabul-Termez route.

Pakistan Customs processed the first-ever TIR consignment from Karachi at Torkham destined for Tashkent via Afghanistan. The consignment consisted of herbal medicines and after completion of all Customs formalities at Torkham it crossed into Afghanistan.

  • FBR notifies Gabd (Gwadar) as TIR Border Crossing Point

Gabd is located at a distance of 87 Km from Gwadar on Pak-Iran border and end point of Coastal Highway (N-10). Gabd is located at a distance of 137 km from Chahbahar Port and this Gabd-Reemdan route will play a vital in connecting the two ports of Gwadar & Chahbahar and thus synergizing their potentials.

Moreover, it provides additional route from Coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh to Iran and Turkey & Azerbaijan in addition to already available route of Taftan-Mirjaveh (Iran). Recently, all stakeholders have focused on the development of a TIR regime and TIR operations have gained momentum. In May 2021, one Pakistani vehicle took herbal medicines to Uzbekistan under TIR. While three vehicles, two from Turkmenistan and one Uzbekistan, brought grey Fabric and cattle hides respectively under TIR. On their return, these vehicles transported back sports goods from Pakistan.

  • Amendments in the Customs Rules, 2001 (Chapter XXIX – TIR Rules)


Through an amendment with regards to the TIR Carnet rules, now the requirement for admission for local companies is reduced to one truck from five, while for joint ventures, the threshold is now five trucks instead of ten. Similarly, previously bank guarantees had separate costs which are now converted into insurance guarantees. The inspection process has been made stricter with the involvement of ICC-PNC, Ministry of Communications, and Motorway Police. The process is gaining traction and a few companies have already received their Carnets while others are to receive them soon.

  • NLC starts operations under TIR Convention

The NLC is the second operator in Pakistan, and the first in the public sector, to begin its operations under TIR. It will also be the first time that Pakistan’s trucks would move through Iran under TIR. Previously, goods had to be offloaded from Pakistan’s trucks and reloaded onto Iran’s trucks at the Taftan-Zahidan border.

  • First Pakistan exports to Russia by TIR cut transit time by up to 76%

Pointing to a huge potential boost to Pakistani fresh fruit and vegetable trade with Russia, the TIR journey cut transit time by up to 76% in comparison to the traditional sea route.

The truck, carrying fresh mangoes, travelled from Pakistan to Russia via Iran and Azerbaijan, delivering the goods to Moscow in seven days. Conducted jointly by Pakistani and Iranian logistic and transport operators, it demonstrated the first seamless transport from Pakistan to Russia along the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

  • TIR slashes 80% off transit time with new Pakistan-Iran-Turkey corridor

With the traditional sea route taking 25 to 40 days, transport has successfully demonstrated huge time savings. TIR transports can now reach Istanbul from Pakistan in as little as six days, with highly secure and speedy border crossings, reducing risk as well as costs and time.

With the significant trade potential of the ECO region, this new corridor will enhance connectivity and set a milestone for transit facilitation, enabling further regional integration and more efficient access to global markets.

The launch comes on the heels of the first successful export shipments with TIR from Pakistan to Russia. TIR transports are also increasing from Pakistan to Azerbaijan via Iran, with NLC also running a first successful operation on this route.