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TIR Transport operators may request Customs to check presence of clandestines

9 July 2001

At its 98th session the UNECE Working Party on Customs Questions affecting Transport (WP.30) has adopted comments to Articles 5 and 46 of the TIR Convention, dealing with the occurrence of any type of irregularity in the course of a TIR transport. If a transport operator has the suspicion that people and/or goods have been introduced irregularly into his truck after it has been sealed and for that reason asks Customs authorities to check it, Customs authorities are requested not to refuse to carry out such an examination, unless they feel that there is no reasonable ground for the request.

If Customs authorities carry out an examination on request from the transport operator, the latter will have to pay the charges due. In addition, Customs authorities cannot be held liable for any other costs the transport operator may have as a consequence of this examination.

These comments were introduced at the request of transport operators and mainly aim at the presence of clandestines in trucks. With the introduction of the comments, transport operators are granted the possibility to obtain, at a charge, an examination by Customs authorities. However, Customs authorities are not obliged to grant every request. If they feel that such a request is unjustified, they can refuse to do so. Nor can Customs authorities be held liable for any costs the transport operator may have as a result of the requested examination (such as delay costs etc.).

The TIR Administrative Committee is expected to endorse these comments at its forthcoming session (Geneva, 25-26 October 2001).