Geneva, 18 December 2002
TIR RUSSIAN CRISIS AVOIDED
On Tuesday 17 December, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the Customs Authorities of the Russian Federation have signed a Cooperation Agreement that will allow the continuation of the guarantee coverage of TIR transport operations on the territory of the Russian Federation.
The TIR transport system in Russia was under a major imminent threat following the announcement made last week by the IRU to suspend the TIR guarantee coverage on the territory of the Russian Federation due to the high level of Customs fraud committed by organized crime in Russia.
As a result of the cooperation agreement, the suspension has been cancelled and Russian as well as international transport operators will be able to continue to carry out TIR transport operations in the Russian Federation. Russian transport operators will also be allowed to continue to perform TIR transport operations in other countries.
“I believe this agreement has avoided a major crisis for the Russian economy but also for the whole European economy and I wish to thank both parties for their efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution”, said Mr. José Capel Ferrer, Director, Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
“Indeed, the suspension would have significantly hampered international transport and trade to, from and through the Russian Federation, thereby causing huge losses to businesses and transport operators in Russia as well as in many other European countries trading with Russia”, added Mr. Capel Ferrer.
TIR transport operations are carried out on the basis of the so-called TIR Convention. This Convention, concluded in Geneva in the framework of the UNECE in 1975 and regularly updated to keep it in line with developments, enables the movement of goods through international border under cover of a commonly accepted Customs transit document, the TIR Carnet, with little or no intervention by Customs of intermediate transit countries and at a low guarantee cost.
The IRU-Russian Customs agreement will help the Customs authorities to better combat organized crime and drastically reduce TIR related Customs fraud in the Russian Federation.