ICC-IRT TIR
TIR Seminar
TIR Seminar - Karachi, November 30, 2004
The TIR Seminar held at Karachi Sheraton Hotel commenced at 9.30 am with recitation from Holy Quran. Mr. Ramzan Bhatti, Member Customs, Central Board of Revenue (CBR) chaired the seminar as the Chief Guest. 85 participants representing the public and private sector and listed in Annex I attended the seminar.

Proceedings
In the opening speech Mr. Tariq Rangoonwala, Chairman ICC Pakistan welcomed the guests and the participants. He explained that the Federal Government had approved accession to the Istanbul Convention for the ATA Carnet and TIR Convention. Pakistan had acceded to the Istanbul Convention in June 2004 and accession procedure for TIR Convention was in progress. ICC Pakistan had been designated by the Government of Pakistan as the National Guaranteeing Organization for ATA Carnet and TIR Carnet system. As soon as the International Notification is circulated by the ICC’s World Chambers’ Federation to all acceding countries and Pakistan Customs rules and procedures are finalized ICC Pakistan will be able to go ahead with holding an ATA Carnet Implementation Workshop for the Carnet users and implement the system. This will serve as precursor to the introduction of TIR Carnet.

ICC Pakistan has formed a TIR Commission with the primary focus to assemble the relevant stakeholders under a single umbrella to complete the International Road Transport Union (IRU) membership procedures for implementation of TIR Convention and operation of TIR Carnet system in Pakistan. He recommended that the Government of Pakistan may instruct its Permanent Representative in UNESCAP to ensure that the UNESCAP Asian Highway Route Map should include southern region of Pakistan including Gwadar port for direct East and West bound highways.

Mr. Babar Badat, Chairman TIR Commission Pakistan stated that Pakistan’s freight and transport industry would greatly benefit by adopting the international standards and practices applicable to transit trade, as Pakistani ports are the natural gateway for the region’s trade for feeding Afghanistan and the Central Asian States. He pointed out that Pakistan was deficient in road transport vehicles. To overcome this coherent government policies encouraging creation of strong transport industry by induction of modern goods transport vehicles were required. To encourage investment in this sector soft funding for purchase of vehicles, opening of Afghan transit trade to private sector and avoidance of adhoc application of surcharges, fees or cess by the provincial authorities, port authorities or others was essential. The government may also set up a single authority to govern and facilitate entire operation of the transport of transit trade.

Mr. Ramzan Bhatti, Member Customs, CBR stated that Pakistan Customs is at present is in the process of modernizing its systems under the Customs Administrative Reforms (CARe) Program. A single Administrative Document (SAD) in the form of Goods Declaration, which could be filled and processed electronically, has already been introduced. The pilot project under the CARe program is due to start at Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) in March 2005. This will enable electronic filing of the SAD from the premises of the authorized consignors, consignees and the Customs agents and clearance of cargo within 24 hours under the risk assessment scheme. This will be a great improvement compared to present clearance time of about a week. He said that this delay occurred because of the free storage time of 7 days allowed by the port authorities. He advised that to reduce congestion in ports the allowed free storage needs to be reduced.

As far as the transit trade was concerned Pakistan Customs had opened Port Qasim for Afghan transit trade and the Afghan cargo under Afghan Trade Agreement (ATA) could now be transported by road by NLC in addition to Pakistan Railways. Accession to TIR Convention had been approved by the Cabinet and necessary formalities for accession to the Convention were being processed. CBR was fully conscious of the fact that the need of the hour was to become a conduit for the international trade through Pakistan and gain from the opportunities offered by the transit trade. Mr. Javaid Mansoor, Executive Secretary, NTTFC gave a presentation on the transit transport routes to Central Asian States. He showed various road and rail transport routes available to the Central Asian States for their trade. He indicated that Iran and Pakistan both offered short routes to the warm water sea ports in Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Iran had moved far ahead with development of its road and rail infrastructure and transit transport systems by adopting TIR and CMR Conventions and insurance arrangements for the transit transport. Pakistan will need to adopt the following measures on priority basis to be able to participate in the transit trade to Central Asian States:

  • Raise the national highways linking Karachi and Gwadar to Afghanistan to international standards;
  • Develop railway linkage to the Central Asian States through Quetta, Chaman, Kandahar, Kushka, Mary in Turkmenistan;
  • Develop railway link from Gwadar to Quetta;
  • Accede to TIR Convention;
  • Establish national guarantee organization for issuing TIR carnets;
  • Accede to CMR Convention and introduce international road carriage law;
  • Establish national guarantee organization for issuing TIR carnets;
  • Enforce international road safety regulations, especially for the vehicles engaged in international transport;
  • Introduce insurance arrangements for international transport of vehicles; and
  • Facilitate issuing of international driving licenses and visas for drivers of the vehicles.


  • Mr. Poul Hansen, TIR Secretary, UNECE explained the objectives and advantages of adopting the TIR Convention as:

    Facilitation of international transit transport of goods through simplified procedures for transit traffic;

  • Protection of Customs revenues through an international guarantee system;
  • Gain in efficiency by elimination of physical inspection and documentation of goods in transit; and
  • Enhancement of transport operations for Pakistani exports to other TIR countries.

  • He also pointed out that with a view to enhance efficient transit transport operations countries experiencing regular international traffic as well as having an international vehicle fleet would benefit from becoming Contracting Parties not only to the TIR Convention, but also to the Harmonization Convention and Temporary Importation Convention (vehicles and containers). Furthermore, it would also be advantageous to accede to multilateral legal instruments concerning the requirements of the International Highway Code, regulations for Safe and Clean Vehicles, rules for Safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods (ADR) as well as the contract of carriage (CMR) . Finally issues relating to road charges, road transport permits, visa, etc. have to be addressed by bilateral or regional agreements.
    He explained that five pillars of TIR system were:

  • Secure vehicles or containers;
  • International guarantee;
  • TIR Carnet;
  • Mutual recognition of Customs controls; and
  • Controlled access.

  • He provided details of ;

  • How the TIR system, including its special procedures, were operated;
  • The TIR management structure and its operation; and
  • Step by step guide on how to fill in a TIR Carnet.

  • Mr. Youlien Guenkov, Head–TIR Admission and Audit, IRU gave a detailed presentation on the role of transport industry. He started with an overview of the organization of IRU and explained that IRU is authorized by the Administrative Committee of TIR Convention to centrally print and distribute TIR Carnets and take on responsibility for the effective organization and functioning of an international guarantee system. To ensure that the guarantee system operates efficiently IRU carries out careful selection of transport operators and sees to it that the following minimum conditions and requirements of the Convention are fulfilled:

    1. Proven experience or, at least, capability to engage in regular international transport;
    2. Sound financial standing;
    3. Proven knowledge in application of the TIR Convention; and
    4. Absence of serious or repeated offences against Customs or tax legislation.

    He emphasized that IRU carries out continuous monitoring of the status of holders of TIR Carnet. The authorization for access to the TIR procedures does not constitute in itself a right to obtain TIR Carnet from the Associations. The Associations have the absolute right to refuse authorization, to suspend or to exclude a transport company at any time.

    He explained the safety features of the TIR Carnet, how a transit was carried out under TIR Carnet and how the overall system worked. He outlined the role of various organizations in the guarantee system i.e. IRU, international financial institution, guaranteeing association, issuing association, national financial institutions, Customs and the holder of TIR Carnet and the case handling process for an irregularity committed during a transit.

    He explained the requirements for becoming an authorized TIR Association as well as the responsibilities of the Customs, the association and the TIR Carnet holder. He also explained the IRU SafeTIR system for risk management through IT traceability of TIR Carnet and the CUTE-Wise software developed to make all the required information regarding TIR Carnets available to the stakeholders from the IRU Database.

    The information provided during the presentations was discussed at length by the participants to obtain necessary clarifications and the recommendations listed below were agreed.


    Recommendations
    a. Institutional and administrative actions

  • Government of Pakistan may expedite accession to TIR Convention and the Customs Act suitably amended to enforce TIR Convention in Pakistan or a suitable new legislation introduced, including the designation of TIR Customs offices, designation of an approval authority for TIR vehicles/containers
  • Pakistan Customs may make necessary provision in the CARe software for implementation of SafeTIR system in Pakistan;
  • Necessary formalities for TIR Commission of ICC Pakistan to become a member of IRU and recognized as the national guarantee organization for issuing TIR Carnets may be expedited
  • Pakistan may accede to the International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods, of 21 October 1982;
  • Pakistan may accede to CMR Convention and introduce legislation for international carriage of goods by road;
  • Pakistan may accede to the Customs Convention on the Temporary importation of Commercial Road Vehicles, of 18 May 1956;
  • Pakistan may enter in regional or bilateral agreements for Pakistani vehicles to operate in the countries of ECO and beyond and vice-versa as well as road user charges
  • Pakistan may arrange adoption of internationally recognized uniform conditions for periodic technical inspection of road vehicles and reciprocal recognition of inspection certificate
  • International road safety regulations in accordance with International Highway Code may be enforced, especially for the vehicles engaged in international transport;
  • International Regulations for Safe and Clean Vehicles may be adopted by Pakistan;
  • Rules for Safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods may be adopted by Pakistan;
  • Afghan transit trade may be opened to private sector;
  • Pakistan may negotiate regional or bilateral agreements for multiple entry visas to be issued to drivers of the vehicles.
  • Insurance arrangements for international transport of vehicles and goods may be organized;
  • Suitable driver training facilities to enable drivers qualify for international driving licenses may be established;
  • A single authority to govern and facilitate entire operation of the transport of transit trade may be established;
  • Adhoc application of surcharges, fees or cess by the provincial authorities, port authorities or others may be avoided;
  • To encourage investment in transport sector soft funding for purchase of vehicles may be authorized;
  • To reduce congestion in ports the allowed free storage period in ports may be reduced. Government of Pakistan may instruct its Permanent Representative in UNESCAP to ensure that the UNESCAP Asian Highway Route Map should include southern region of Pakistan including Gwadar port for direct East and West bound highways.
  • Infrastructure requirements The national highways linking Karachi and Gwadar to Afghanistan may be upgraded to international standards;
  • Railway linkage to the Central Asian States through Quetta, Chaman, Kandahar, Kushka, Mary in Turkmenistan may be developed at the earliest;
  • Railway link from Gwadar to Quetta may be developed to provide access to Central Asian States from Gwadar port;


  • Javaid Mansoor Executive Secretary Circulation:

  • All Participants
  • Mr. Tasneem Noorani, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Islamabad
  • Mr. Iftikhar Rasheed, Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Islamabad
  • Mr. Fazlur Rehman, Secretary, Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Islamabad
  • Mr. Shakeel Durrani, Secretary, Ministry of Railways
  • Malik Saeed M. Khan, Member, Planning & Development Division, Islamabad
  • Capt. Anwar Shah, Additional Secretary and Director General, Ministry of Ports & Shipping
  • Mr. Umar Khan Alisherzai, DG (Economic Coordination), Ministry of Foreign Affairs 9. Syed Irtiqa Ahmad Zaidi, Economic Consultant, Ministry of Commerce, Islamabad
  • Mr. Amer Rashid Shaikh, Secretary (ICM), Central Board of Revenue
  • Mr. Amir Z. Durrani, Task Team Leader, TTFP, World Bank