ICC-IRT TIR
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UN CUSTOMS CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT OF GOODS UNDER COVER OF TIR CARNETS (TIR CONVENTION, 1975) IN PAKISTAN

In February 2002 the PNC-ICC obtained the Federal Cabinet resolutions for the TIR Convention 1975, the Istanbul Convention 1990 and the New York Convention 1958. In March 2004 ICC Pakistan was designated as the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Organization for the TIR Carnets in addition to being the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Organization for ATA Carnets. Pakistan’s accession to the Istanbul Convention was accomplished in 2004 and was implemented in 2007 with the PNC-ICC as the National Guaranteeing & Issuing Organization as per SRO No. 1157(1)/2007 dated 8th November 2007. Subsequent to the accession to the Istanbul Convention the President of Pakistan also signed accession documents to the TIR Convention in 2006 but owing to certain conditions stipulated by the Pakistan Foreign Office the instrument of accession was rejected by the UN Depository. Since then efforts have been ongoing to remove these conditions which have seen results and as such opening the way for resubmitting the instrument of accession.

In November 2004 a seminar was held at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel, jointly organized by the Pakistan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (PNC-ICC) and the National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee (NTTFC), with support from the Ministry of Commerce through the Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (TTFP). Some eighty persons from a cross-section of Government agencies and business organizations participated in the seminar. Member Customs, CBR was the Chief Guest. Invited speakers included TIR Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Head TIR Admission and Audit, International Road Transport Union (IRU).

On 16th February 2005 the PNC-ICC became an Associate Member of the IRU. The IRU Presidential Executive admitted the PNC-ICC to Associate Membership during their meeting.

In February 2007 the Chair of the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC in his capacity as Chair of our logistics association hosted a Regional Transit Trade Conference in Karachi. The Head of TIR from the IRU, the President of FIATA, representatives from the Transport Ministry of China, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan including their former Transport Ministers attended the conference. From the government side the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Chairman TDAP, Chairman FBR, Chairmen of KPT, Port Qasim and Gwadar Port, DG Ports and Shipping, Chairman NHA, senior representatives of Pakistan Railways and International Customs were also present and several detailed presentations were made.

In March 2007 the Chair TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC was part of the Prime Minister’s delegation on a state visit to Uzbekistan and participated in a meeting on regional connectivity with the Uzbek Transport Ministry, with reference to working under the umbrella of the TIR Convention.

The PNC-ICC TIR Commission participated actively in the ECO-IRU Silk Road Truck Caravan from Islamabad to Ankara organized by the ECO with the support of its Member States and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in cooperation with its national Member Associations in the ECO region from 29th September to 20th October 2010.

On the occasion of the launching ceremony of the ECO-IRU Silk Road Truck Caravan the then IRU Secretary General Mr. Martin Marmy visiting Islamabad along with Mr. Haydar Ozkan, General Delegate of IRU to the Middle East. On 30th September 2010 the PNC-ICC TIR Commission has arranged for the IRU delegation to meet with government officials including the Additional Secretary Commerce, the Secretary Communications, the Chief International Customs FBR and the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad to discuss Pakistan’s accession to the TIR Convention and to allay any apprehensions the Government of Pakistan may have in this regard.

PNC-ICC Chair and co-chair of its TIR Commission during his visit to Hong Kong met on 28th June 2010 met with Mr. Rifat Hisarciklioglu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) to discuss Pakistan accession to the TIR Convention and its early implementation. Mr. Hisarciklioglu on behalf of TOBB and the Turkish Government extended fullest support to the PNC-ICC and the Government of Pakistan in facilitating the accession process and the operational implementation of the TIR Convention.

The ECO regional conference on TIR was hosted by the IRU in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2011 which was attended by the Chair of the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC. The conference was also attended by the Federal Secretary Communications, Government of Pakistan.

The PNC-ICC Chairman inked an MOU with the IRU Permanent Delegation to the Middle East and Region on 16th November 2011 in Istanbul for cooperation in 2011 and 2012 in the implementation of the new ECO-IRU project “ECO Regular Monitoring of Trucks in partnership with IRU NELTI-3”.

ICC Pakistan and its TIR Commission signed an MOU with the Directorate General Training & Research (DGTR), Pakistan Customs in order to facilitate capacity building for the eventual implementation of the TIR Convention in Pakistan and its automation as well as the accommodation and integration of ICC Pakistan’s ongoing ATA Carnet operations in Pakistan Customs IT system. This MOU was signed in Karachi on 25th October 2011.

In December 2011 the Ministry of Commerce hosted an international meeting in Islamabad on Regional Economic Connectivity. The Chair of the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC made a presentation on the subject highlighting the need for the adoption of the TIR Convention in order to support Pakistan’s transport and logistics industry’s endeavors to promote regional connectivity.

In September 2012 on the invitation of China the Chair of the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC in his capacity as SVP of FIATA gave a presentation on the ChiPak Transport Corridor at the EuroChina Logistics Forum held in Urumqi, China. Pakistan’s ability and capacity to act as an ideal transport corridor under the TIR Convention was promoted.

The PNC-ICC TIR Commission attended an important meeting on Pakistan’s accession to the TIR Convention which was convened in Islamabad on 7th November 2012 chaired by the then Federal Secretary Commerce and attended by Federal Secretary Communications, representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, FBR and other government and security agencies officials. During this meeting the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC made a detailed presentation on the implementation of the TIR Convention in Pakistan.

In August 2013 the Chairman PNC-ICC participated at the 2nd International Multimodal Transportation and Logistics (InterTrans) Conference at Karachi and presented a paper titled “A perspective on multimodal transport and the importance of trade facilitation and some micro initiatives for improvement”.

The IRU along with the ECO initiated the ECO TIR Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Corridor pilot project. In this regard the PNC-ICC received from the IRU on 2nd October 2013 two documents for signature by PNC-ICC and Pakistan Customs/ FBR being the ITI Trilateral Agreement (IRU, PNC-ICC, Pakistan Customs/FBR) and ITI Pakistan Guarantee Agreement (PNC-ICC, Pakistan Customs/FBR). The PNC-ICC accordingly conveyed the signed documents on 4th October 2013 to Pakistan Customs/ FBR and the Ministry of Communications for doing the needful. The documents are still pending signing by the Pakistan Customs/ FBR.

In November 2013 the Chairman PNC-ICC and Co-Chair of its TIR Commission attended for the first time the IRU General Assembly and Goods Transport Council meeting in Geneva. During these meetings he also met with his regional and international counterparts. In December 2013 the PNC-ICC Joint Task Force for TIR Automation in Pakistan was formed for structuring the administration of the TIR carnets in Pakistan. This Joint Task Force for TIR Automation in Pakistan includes the representation of the Pakistan Customs.

In February 2014 an international multimodal transport and logistics workshop was held in Islamabad. The Chair of the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC presented a paper on “Activation of the TIR System in Pakistan”.

Both the Chairman PNC-ICC and Chair of the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC are members of the Business Advisory Council (BAC) of the United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Chairman PNC-ICC also chairs the UNESCAP BAC Task Force on Trade and Transport Facilitation which has the TIR Convention as its agenda to seek UN support and cooperation in the region as the TIR is in fact a UN convention.

In August 2014 Three National Capacity Building workshops on TIR were jointly organized by the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on 18th, 20th and 22nd August 2014 respectively. These workshops were facilitated by the PNC-ICC and the NTTFC. These workshops were attended by relevant stakeholders and government officials.

Over the last ten years several other presentations at various government and professional level have been made by PNC-ICC and its TIR Commission in support of Pakistan’s transport and logistics industry and the country’s regional connectivity.

Upon Pakistan’s accession to the TIR Convention the TIR Commission of the PNC-ICC under its supervision and in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Pakistan Customs will create and form a National Authorization Committee, which should ensure that every transport operator wishing to use TIR Carnets meets the minimum conditions and requirements.

As TIR is the UN Convention to facilitate international trade and transport the PNC-ICC has established the Pakistan Trade Facilitation Portal (www.ptfp.com.pk). The Pakistan Trade Facilitation Portal is a fulfillment of the multilateral obligations to disseminate laws on national and international trade, transport and transit and has been established with the support of the PNC-ICC member organizations.

On July 21, 2015 Pakistan successfully acceded to the UN Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention), 1975. The United Nations Depository Notification Ref: C.N.420.2015.TREATIES-XI.A.16 was issued on 23rd July 2016. Since then the PNC-ICC has been in constant consultation with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Communications and the FBR/ Pakistan Customs.

The PNC-ICC along with IRU, ECO and the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan hosted the TIR Implementation Workshops in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad in November 2015.

The Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan and The US Department of Commerce organized (Pakistan / US / IRU / TOBB Cooperation) Consultations on the implementation of the TIR Convention and familiarization visit to Turkey (Ankara, Istanbul and Kapikule) from 22-25 February 2016 for the relevant government officials from Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Communications and FBR & Pakistan Customs. PNC-ICC and its TIR Commission also participated in these meetings. The consultations included visits to and meetings with TOBB (Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity); TIR Department of Turkish Customs, Ministry of Customs and Trade; Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communication (MoT); International Road Transport Union (IRU) Regional Office; Istanbul Chamber of Commerce; as well as visit to Kapikule Border Crossing.

Subsequently on July 15, 2016 the People’s Republic of China also acceded to the TIR Convention, 1975.

The draft TIR Rules for Pakistan, Guarantee Agreement and the MOU on Trilateral Cooperation between IRU, PNC-ICC and FBR/ Pakistan Customs were received from the FBR in May and June 2016 where after a delegation from the IRU arrived for discussion on the drafts on 21-22 June 2016 with the relevant Customs authorities after the consultations with their legal advisors and accordingly after extensive deliberations with the Directorate of Transit a consensus was arrived at and the revised drafts were conveyed for finalization to the FBR in particular the office of the Member Customs and the Additional Secretary-I, Ministry of Commerce on 27th June 2016 along with details of revision. It was pointed out to the Customs authorities that some aspects of the rules and Guarantee Agreement as per the initial drafts provided by the FBR were in violation of the provisions of the TIR Convention and would need to be corrected in order for the international guarantee to become operational for Pakistan.

The PNC-ICC (ICC Pakistan) along with the concerned government officials also participated in CLDP/ IRU trainings in Geneva from 7-12 August 2016. During our deliberations in Geneva it was mentioned that the FBR referred the matter to the Ministry of Commerce (WTO Wing) for finalization and the promulgation of the TIR Rules is now awaited. In terms of Customs IT developments for integration with IRU’s IT system the IRU has expressed its satisfaction at the progress which has been made by Pakistan Customs Automation.

The PNC-ICC and its TIR Commission’s efforts in cooperation with the International Road Transport Union (IRU) towards the implementation of the UN TIR Convention 1975 remained ongoing. The PNC-ICC and its TIR Commission have been in constant consultation with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Communications and the FBR & Pakistan Customs.

On 27th January 2017 the Guarantee Agreement between PNC-ICC and Pakistan Customs; and the Trilateral Cooperation MOU between IRU, PNC-ICC and Pakistan Customs were executed at the offices of the DG Transit Trade, Pakistan Customs, Karachi. PNC-ICC Chairman and DG Transit Trade Pakistan Customs signed the Guarantee Agreement and the Trilateral MOU. Implementation to the TIR Convention 1975 in Pakistan is imminent and the promulgation of the TIR Rules by the FBR, Government of Pakistan is awaited.

THE PNC-ICC TIR COMMISSION

The Pakistan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (PNC-ICC) referred to as ICC Pakistan, is performing the role of facilitator as well as the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Organization in Pakistan for the implementation of the UN TIR Convention 1975 in Pakistan. ICC Pakistan is an Associate Member of the IRU and the TIR Commission of ICC Pakistan comprise of logistics and transport companies who need to avail the facilitation for transit trucking internationally under the TIR Commission. ICC Pakistan has been appointed by the Government of Pakistan as the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Organization for TIR Carnets. The PNC-ICC TIR Commission was subsequently titled to add International Road Transport as the IRT-TIR Commission generally referred to as the TIR Commission.

The PNC-ICC formed the TIR Commission which is chaired by Mr. Babar Badat of Transfreight Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd. and co-chaired by Chairman PNC-ICC Mr. Tariq M. Rangoonwala. The purpose of initiating the TIR Commission was specifically to create the relevant representation of those organizations in the transport sector who need the TIR trucking carnets for facilitating their cross-border transport movements. The TIR Commission is a sector specific group of stakeholders involved in international transport and logistics and the TIR Convention will need to be overseen by those who require its facilitation. Any other grouping in the transport sector are too broad and involves too many issues because of the myriad of issues already prevailing in the sector, hence the necessity for the formation of a core stakeholder group whose main focus would be the IRU and the TIR Convention by virtue of their ongoing operations, which involve cross-border transit trucking.