FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

What is TIR?

TIR stands for "Transports Internationaux Routiers" which in English means International Road Transport. It is an international system allowing goods to travel across one or more borders with a minimum of Customs interference whilst in transit, providing at least part of the journey is carried out by road. The TIR system operates in any country that is a Contracting Party to the TIR Convention 1975, provided the country has established the relevant contractual arrangements. Goods travelling under TIR are covered by a TIR Carnet and this means they may pass through these countries without paying Customs duties and taxes and without the need for unloading/reloading at frontiers. The United Nations, on behalf of the Contracting Parties, has mandated the International Road Transport Union (IRU) to administer the TIR system and in particular the guarantee system.

Where can I find details of the TIR Convention, 1975?

The TIR Handbook containing background information, the text of the TIR Convention, 1975 and explanatory notes and comments is available from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) in Geneva, or on the following website :

http://www.unece.org/hk/tir/tirconv/conv75.html

What are the main principles of the TIR system?

The TIR system is based on six main principles:

  • 1. The goods are carried in secure road vehicles (including trailers, semi-trailers), or in containers that have been approved for Customs sealing under the TIR Convention. The only exception to this rule is if the goods are designated as heavy and bulky goods; this must be noted on the goods manifest of the TIR Carnet;
  • 2. The Customs duties and taxes at risk in each TIR operational country are covered up to a fixed amount by an internationally valid guarantee represented by the TIR Carnet;
  • 3- 3. The goods are documented on and accompanied by a TIR Carnet which is the harmonised Customs declaration;
  • 4- 4. Customs control measures applied in the country of departure should be accepted by the countries of transit and destination;
  • 5- 5. Access to use the TIR system is controlled by the Customs authorities and the national transport Associations. National associations wishing to issue and guarantee TIR Carnets must fulfil minimum financial and commercial conditions and requirements before authorisation is granted. Similarly, transport operators wishing to use TIR Carnets must be of sound financial standing and must have no record of serious or repeated offences against Customs or tax legislation. The minimum admission requirements must be fulfilled before access is granted to both Associations and transport operators. Parts I and II of Annex 9 to the TIR Convention refer;
  • 6- 6. Electronic information confirming the partial or final termination of all TIR operations must be sent to the international organisation (the IRU) by each Customs authority where the unloading takes place (This is known as SafeTIR termination data. Details are contained in Annex 10 to the TIR Convention).

For the Customs authorities

  • duties and taxes at risk are guaranteed (currently up to USD 50,000/EUR60,000 in the EU);
  • only authorised transport operators are permitted to use TIR Carnets, thus reducing risks;
  • the need for physical inspection of goods in transit is greatly reduced;
  • the system facilitates Customs control and documentation; and use of inland Customs offices for the application of export and import controls allows more efficient deployment of Customs personnel and avoids congestion at the border.
How and where can I obtain a TIR Carnet?

TIR Carnets are issued by approved TIR issuing Associations in the country in which the TIR Carnet Holder is established, or where the TIR transport begins. In special circumstances, a TIR Carnet may be issued to a foreign TIR Carnet Holder. In these cases, authorisation in writing from the Association to which the Holder belongs is required.

What is the difference between countries that are TIR Contracting Parties and countries with which a TIR operation can be established?

aining the ability to apply the TIR system is a two phase process. First, governments of the interested countries must deposit the necessary instrument of accession to the TIR Convention with the United Nations in New York. If there is no objection during the 6 months that follow, countries then become Contracting Parties to the TIR Convention, allowing them to attend certain relevant meetings and to discuss the TIR system. If a Contracting Party then wishes to use the TIR system on its territory then it must have fulfilled all the contractual arrangements that have to be established in relation to the Association, the national Customs authorities, the IRU, the Holders and the financial institutions. Only then can TIR transport operations take place on that Customs territory. A list of Contracting Parties and TIR operational countries along with the names of the national TIR Associations can be found at the following page:

http://www.unece.org/trans/bcf/tir/int-org/tir-int-org-assoc.htm

What is a Road Vehicle Approval Certificate?

In order to be accepted for international road transport under Customs seal, a the load compartment of a road vehicle must be physically secure so that once it has been sealed by Customs, no goods can be introduced or removed from the load compartment without breaking the seal. It must therefore comply with the regulations on the technical specifications as set out in Annex 2 of the TIR Convention. Vehicles that conform to the specification will be issued with a Road Vehicle Approval Certificate by the competent authority in each Contracting Party. Annex 3 of the TIR Convention sets out the approval procedure and Annex 4 contains a model certificate of approval of a road vehicle. Similar rules apply to containers – see Annex 7 of the TIR Convention.

What is a Carnet de Passage?

A Carnet de Passage is a separate Customs transit scheme that is used in some countries to enable the temporary import of vehicles without the payment of Customs duties and taxes. The scheme is administered by Alliance Internationale de Tourisme & Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (AIT/FIA) in Geneva, Switzerland, and it is provided in UAE by the ATCUAE, click here for more information

Website: http://www.aitgva.ch/

Under Article 15 of the TIR Convention, a Carnet de Passage should not normally be required for the temporary importation, and re-exportation of vehicles covered by a TIR Carnet.

What is a TIR Carnet Holder?

A TIR Carnet Holder is a natural or legal person who is resident in the country where a TIR Association is established and who has been authorised by the TIR Association and the Customs authorities to receive and use TIR Carnets. Article 6 and Annex 9 Part II of the TIR Convention refer.

What is the TIR Carnet Holder responsible for, and to whom?

The TIR Carnet Holder must ensure that the TIR Carnet, the approved vehicle and the goods are properly presented to the relevant Customs offices at departure, en route and at destination. He must take reasonable steps to ensure that the TIR Carnet declaration of the goods corresponds to the goods actually being transported. If any of these responsibilities are not met, the Holder will be held accountable for paying the duties and taxes on the goods that are being transported, should they become due during the course of a TIR operation and may, in addition, be:

  • Penalised by the imposition of fines or penalties; and/or
  • Held financially responsible for the unlimited payment of all duties and taxes liable on the goods which, due to his action, have not been discharged by Customs.
What happens if the TIR Carnet Holder does not pay the duties and taxes owed to Customs?

If the TIR Carnet Holder does not make the payments for Customs duties and taxes to Customs if they become due, he will be responsible to the chain of guarantee: The Holder is the "user" of the guarantee provided to Customs by the IRU and its TIR Association. He is not the "beneficiary." He is responsible to the chain of guarantee in principle up to a sum of USD 50,000 (EUR 60,000 in the European Union) for Customs duties and taxes by virtue of the Declaration of Engagement and the Holder's Manual which bind him to his TIR Association. He is also responsible for all financial harm that could be caused to the chain of guarantee by incorrect or fraudulent use of a TIR Carnet. In this sense, he is financially responsible to the chain of guarantee up to the limit of the amount paid by the guarantee chain, i.e. USD 50,000 / EUR 60,000. Article 6 and Annex 9, part 2 and Article 8.7 of the TIR Convention refer. See also Question 16 (Declaration of engagement.)

What is the chain of guarantee?

If the payment of duties and taxes becomes due, Customs must first approach the Holder or other person directly liable for payment. Only if this approach fails then they may contact the national guaranteeing Association. All national TIR Associations are members of the IRU umbrella scheme that guarantees payment of duties and taxes that may become due in any TIR operational country. Each Association guarantees duties and taxes at risk for foreign and national TIR Carnet Holders on their territory, thus all national guaranteeing Associations constitute a guarantee chain linking all TIR countries. This chain of guarantee was devised in order to ensure that Customs duties and taxes at risk during a TIR transport are covered at any moment by a national guaranteeing association. This is backed up by financial institutions. Today the only existing guaranteeing chain for TIR is administered and backed by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva, Switzerland. Full details are given in the introduction to the TIR Handbook.

http://www.unece.org/trans/bcf/tir/tir-hb.html

What is the Deed of Guarantee?

The Deed of Guarantee is a contract between the national Customs authorities and the national TIR issuing and guaranteeing Association. The Deed of Guarantee specifies the maximum amount of the guarantee per TIR Carnet to be issued by the association in accordance with Article 8 of the TIR Convention. The Deed of Guarantee forms part of the authorisation of the national Association by the national Customs authorities.

What is the Deed of Engagement?

The Deed of Engagement is a contract between the IRU and the national Association under which the TIR issuing and guaranteeing Association agrees to a number of conditions related to their role in the proper control and management of the TIR system. These obligations include the competent administration of the issuance, return and control of TIR Carnets, full co-operation with the IRU and Customs authorities in the resolution of TIR queries and irregularities, and the efficient use of the SafeTIR system.

What is the Declaration of Engagement?

The Declaration of Engagement is a contract between the TIR Association and the TIR Carnet Holder. Under the Declaration of Engagement the TIR Carnet Holder agrees to comply with the rules laid down by the IRU for the implementation of the provisions of the TIR Convention. The TIR Carnet Holder also agrees to comply with Customs laws and regulations, and to furnish certain financial guarantees. The text of the Declaration of Engagement provides the details of the TIR Carnet Holder’s obligations.

Up to what limit are Customs duties and taxes guaranteed under the TIR Carnet?

Normally the maximum amount that is covered by the guarantee is USD 50,000 / EUR 60,000.

What should Customs do in general if they notice an irregularity?

In all cases of alleged irregularities, Customs should provide the proof which led them to their conclusions that there has been an irregularity. Customs should check the CUTE-Wise system and if termination records are missing the inquiry procedure should be initiated. If proof materials have not been presented articles 8 and 11 of the TIR Convention should be applied, meaning that the person directly liable has to be contacted and the correct time limits have to be respected.

What should Customs do if the TIR transport does not arrive at the Customs office of destination?

The Customs office of entry into the country of destination would notice that the consignment didn’t arrive at the destination as the certificate of termination was not returned within the specified time limits. They would check Cute-Wise to see if SafeTIR data is available from the Customs office of destination. If it was not available, then Customs would:

  • Make inquiries with the Holder and consignee, for an explanation of the discrepancy; if no satisfactory explanation is provided then Customs would: make a payment request to the person directly liable for payment (consignee or Holder) in accordance with article 8.7 of TIR Convention. If Customs cannot recover the duties and taxes from the Holder, they will:
  • Notify the national TIR guaranteeing Association of a possible claim for duties and taxes due as soon as possible but normally within one (1) year of taking the TIR Carnet into charge.
  • Make a payment request to the TIR guaranteeing Association and continue to request payment from the person directly liable (consignee or Holder) in accordance with article 8.7 of the TIR Convention.
What should happen if false Customs stamps are discovered on a TIR Carnet?

This implies that the TIR goods were not presented to a genuine Customs Office, so the goods were presumably sold without payment of Customs duties and taxes due. Customs will make inquiries following the non-discharge of TIR Carnet, notify the national guaranteeing Association and make a claim to the TIR Carnet Holder or consignee for the duties and taxes due. If the TIR Carnet has been returned to the IRU, it will be sent by the IRU to the country of destination for an expert opinion on the validity of the Customs stamps to be given.

What should Customs do if the goods do not match the description on the goods manifest (i.e. goods are mismatched or have been switched en route)?

Customs in the country where the irregularity is detected should start an investigation based on national law to identify the person liable for the duties and taxes that have become due (if any). Article 8 of the TIR Convention refers. A reservation should be noted in the TIR Carnet. The certified report (procès-verbal) form may have to be filled out. TIR Carnet formalities are described in detail in a brochure “How to Fill in a TIR Carnet” available on the IRU bookshop online. It is the TIR Holder's responsibility to make sure that the TIR Carnet is properly discharged, in co-operation with the national TIR Association and the Customs authorities concerned. Failure to do so will lead to liability for the payment of any claims that may arise.

What should happen if goods carried under TIR are destroyed?

The TIR Carnet Holder must report the matter to the national Customs authorities and/or police, depending on national rules. The authorities will complete the certified report (procès-verbal) in the TIR carnet. The loss of goods by fire or accident is considered “force majeure”, subject to certification provided by the competent authorities. In these cases the guarantee chain is released from its obligations and no duties or taxes are payable since there are no goods remaining. Article 41 of TIR Convention refers. It is the TIR Holder's responsibility to make sure that the TIR Carnet is properly discharged, in co-operation with the national TIR association and the Customs authorities concerned. Failure to do so will lead to a liability for the payment of any claims that may arise.

What is the difference between a payment request and penalties?

A payment request covers the duties and taxes that are due as a result of an irregularity during the course of a TIR operation. The person or persons directly involved in the irregularity (for example the TIR Carnet Holder) are liable to pay the full amount of the Customs duties and taxes due. The liability of the guaranteeing Association is limited to maximum USD 50,000 (EUR 60,000 in the EU) per TIR Carnet as provided by the TIR Convention and the Deed of Guarantee between Customs and the national guaranteeing Association involved. Penalties are fines applied by the competent authorities for errors or frauds and are applied in accordance with national legislation. This means that penalties are quite separate from any Customs duties and taxes that may be due and are not covered by the TIR Convention. The TIR guarantee chain does not cover the payment of penalties and they must not be noted in any payment request addressed to the guaranteeing Association.

What are the high-risk goods that need a higher guarantee before being transported under TIR?

https://www.iru.org/en_iru_tir_help

This list is regularly adjusted but currently includes meat, livestock, milk, powdered milk, butter, margarine and sugar. In these cases the TIR Carnet Holder must deposit an additional high-risk guarantee amounting to USD 50,000.

Which goods are prohibited from using the TIR procedure?

https://www.iru.org/en_iru_tir_help

(i) Alcohol and derived products except for beer or wine (prohibited goods are classified under HS Codes 22.07.10 and 22.08);

(ii) tobacco and derived products except for raw tobacco (prohibited goods are classified under HS Codes 24.02.10, 24.02.20 and 24.03.10).

Can a transport operator/ company, use a TIR Carnet with a certificate approval of a truck that belongs to another transport company, for a single TIR operation? If so, do the two companies need to have signed an agreement to this effect?

Two situations must be distinguished:

  • 1. If the TIR Carnet holder only uses the vehicle of another company (but not the driver), this situation is possible, as long as all possible multilateral or bilateral transport agreements are fulfilled.
  • 2. However, if the holder uses the vehicle and the driver of another company, then this is a sub-contractor situation.

In this case, the provisions of Section 7 of Part I of the Association's TIR Manual shall be applied, according to which:

  • the TIR Carnet Holder must sign an Addendum to the Declaration of Engagement towards the association, accepting his liability for the TIR operations carried out by his sub-contractors;
  • the actual user of the TIR Carnet is in a direct contractual relationship with the holder named in box 3 of the TIR Carnet and is transporting goods on the latter’s behalf;
  • prior to any TIR operation, the TIR Carnet Holder must present a list of sub-contractors to his TIR association for approval. The Association shall check that the sub-contractors of this list have not been excluded or suspended or refused from the TIR system;
  • the following reference must appear in box 11 of the TIR Carnet cover: "XXX (sub-contractor name) acting on behalf of YYY (name of Holder) as a sub-contractor".
Does the TIR Carnet Holder have to sign item 15 of every voucher by hand, as well as item 12 of the cover page, instead of using a stamp of his signature?

In accordance with the "Rules regarding the use of the TIR Carnet" (written in the TIR Carnet itself) it is stipulated in the item 12:Signature: All vouchers (items 14 and 15) must be dated and signed by the Holder of the TIR Carnet or his agent. It is stipulated in the TIR Carnet Holder's Manual, Section 5, item 4, second bullet point:

  • complete boxes 2-12 and sign and date boxes 14 and 15 on all "volets" including the yellow manifest. Therefore, it is best if the Holder signs the TIR Carnet, event though it can be quite time-comsuming.
How is the TIR Carnet used?

The TIR Carnet has a number of sets (pairs) of detachable vouchers (in French, “volets”) numbered 1 (white) and 2 (green). Normally one pair of vouchers (white and green) is needed for the transport of goods across the territory of each TIR operational country. The vouchers are filled in by the various actors. A guide on how to fill in the TIR Carnet is available to be downloaded free of charge from the IRU bookshop. Click here.

What happens to the TIR Carnet after a TIR operation has been completed?

Used TIR Carnets are returned to the Holder by the Customs. The Holder then returns the TIR Carnet to the issuing association to be checked and verified. These checks include documentary checks on the yellow goods manifest, the certified report form (procès-verbal) and the stamped counterfoils in the TIR Carnet. The checks will also consist of verification of termination data through SafeTIR. The TIR Carnet is subsequently returned by the issuing Association to IRU for archiving for about three years.

Why does the price of issuance of a TIR Carnet to the Holder vary from country to country?

The price will vary as administrative and insurance costs will be different according to national conditions.

What actions should Customs undertake at offices of departure?

Customs will undertake a stringent inspection of the goods; the effective operation of the TIR procedure depends on this inspection, as explained in Article 19 of TIR Convention. Customs will check that the TIR Carnet is valid and will also verify the TIR Carnet details and any attached documents. In addition, Customs will check the vehicle and the load compartment(s), and verify the Road Vehicle Approval Certificate, which must be valid for the entire TIR operation, that is until the goods arrive at the office of destination. Once the goods are loaded Customs will seal the load compartment, complete and stamp the TIR Carnet as appropriate, tear off the first white voucher (volet 1) and return the TIR Carnet to the driver. The white voucher will be registered by Customs, awaiting the return of the certificate of termination from the green voucher (volet 2) from the Customs office of exit or destination. Depending on national arrangements, the white voucher (volet 1) may be filed either locally at the office of departure or at a central office.

What action do Customs take for TIR goods travelling en route to another TIR operational country?

In many countries Customs controls are based on risk and so the actual checks will vary. However Customs will be expected to inspect the seals to ensure that they have not been tampered with en route. Customs will also check the truck and the integrity of the load compartment to ensure that the load has not been interfered with en route by the removal or introduction of additional goods. Customs will also check the TIR Carnet and accompanying documents and the validity of the road vehicle approval certificate. Details on actions and steps to be taken at every stage of a TIR transport are explained in a guide on how to fill in the TIR Carnet which is available to be downloaded. Click here

What actions do Customs take at the office of destination?

Customs will check that the seals affixed to the TIR load compartment are intact, have not been tampered with and that their identifying number matches what is stated on the TIR Carnet voucher. Customs will examine the truck to ensure that the load has not been interfered with en route. Customs will then break the seals, supervise the unloading of the goods and, on the basis of risk, may carry out a physical examination of the goods to ensure that the quality and quantity of the goods conforms to their description in the TIR Carnet. If satisfied, Customs will certify the termination of the TIR operation by completing and stamping the relevant green voucher 2 and its counterfoil in the TIR Carnet. The TIR Carnet will then be returned to the TIR Carnet Holder. The upper part of the green voucher 2 is retained by the Customs office of destination, and the lower part (also known as the certificate of termination) is returned to the Customs office of entry/departure for matching with the corresponding white voucher 1. The termination data of the TIR Carnet will then be transmitted by Customs to the IRU through the SafeTIR system. A guide on how to fill a TIR carnet is available Click here.

Can goods be loaded and/or unloaded in more than one place?

A TIR transport may involve more than one Customs office of departure and destination, provided the combined total number of Customs offices of departure and destination does not exceed four (4). Article 18 of the TIR Convention applies. All Customs offices of departure must be before the first Customs office of destination. Where goods are loaded or unloaded en route, the normal procedure for filling in the green voucher is followed and the remaining pairs of vouchers are completed as appropriate. A guide on how to fill a TIR carnet is available here.In the case of multiple unloading, the goods must be loaded into the compartment so as to make it as easy as possible to unload the necessary goods.

Can Customs require a Carnet de passage to be presented to cover the temporary importation of the means of transport for goods being transported under a TIR Carnet?

No. Under Article 15 of the TIR Convention, a Carnet de Passage should not normally be required for the temporary importation, and re-exportation of the means of transport of goods under a TIR carnet. The Carnet de Passage system is managed by AIT & FIA for more details click here.

What happens if an accident occurs to a truck transporting goods under a TIR Carnet, and the truck is too badly damaged to continue the journey?

The driver (TIR Carnet Holder) must contact the competent authority (usually the Customs authorities) before unloading the goods into another vehicle. This requirement may be relaxed in situations posing an imminent danger to the truck or the goods carried. If appropriate, Customs will supervise the reloading of the goods and should complete the certified report (procès-verbal) form at the end of the TIR Carnet, and indicate whether or not any of the goods have been destroyed. Details of the new truck must be entered on the certified report (procès-verbal) of the TIR Carnet. If a new TIR Carnet Holder takes over the TIR transport, a new TIR Carnet will have to be opened. In this case, the TIR Carnet that has been used up to the event of the accident will have to be terminated by the Customs authorities. The inside cover of the TIR Carnet paragraphs 13 to 17 describe the actions that must be taken in the event of an accident. Also, details on actions and steps to be taken at every stage of a TIR transport are explained in a guide on how to fill in the TIR Carnet which is available here.

Are Customs duties and taxes due on goods that are lost or destroyed?

No duties and taxes are payable in the event of proven destruction of goods being carried under a TIR Carnet (article 41 of the TIR Convention refers). Paragraphs 13-17 on the inside cover of the TIR Carnet describe the actions that must be taken in the event of an accident. Also, a guide on how to fill a TIR carnet is available here.

Is it possible for a single TIR Carnet to cover goods being transported in a combination of vehicles?

Yes. The term "combination of vehicles" means coupled vehicles that travel on the road as a single unit (article 1 (h) of the TIR Convention refers). However for a convoy of several different vehicles a separate TIR Carnet for each vehicle will be required.

Is it possible for goods being transported in different containers by the same means of transport to be covered by different TIR Carnets?

Yes, provided each of the containers is approved under the conditions set out at Chapter III (a) of the TIR Convention, and provided the Customs at the office of departure agree.

What is a termination with a reservation?

The TIR Convention enables the Customs authorities to certify the termination of a TIR transport with or without a reservation. If Customs have identified a discrepancy that requires further investigation they should indicate this by entering "R" on the green voucher (volet 2) and counterfoil of TIR Carnet relating to the office where the discrepancy was detected. It is important that the Customs state on the certified report (procès verbal) in the TIR carnet, clearly why a reservation has been given. Following the completion of the investigation Customs will either lift the reservation or will confirm that no termination has taken place.

If the goods are destined for a country that is not TIR operational, how should the TIR carnet be completed?

The country and office of destination to be shown in the TIR Carnet are those in the last TIR operational country of transit. In this case the office of destination will be a border-crossing point en route.

What is the validity of TIR Carnets and validity of Road Vehicle Certificate?

The Road Vehicle Approval Certificate must be valid until the end of the TIR operation. Usually the certificate is issued for a period of two years, after which it will have to be renewed. The TIR Carnet must be valid on the date the goods are taken into Customs control (that is accepted) at the office of departure. It is then valid for the rest of the TIR transport. The maximum length of time for taking the TIR Carnet into charge is set by the Holder’s Association, and cannot exceed 60 days after the day of issuance. A TIR Carnet issued under special circumstances with the approval of the Holder’s Association to a foreign Holder is valid for a maximum of 10 days.

What do drivers do if problems occur with a TIR consignment?

It depends on the problem. Practice shows that drivers of TIR consignments will normally contact their own management, that is, the Holder of the TIR Carnet according to the details noted in field 4 of the cover page of the TIR Carnet. The Holder will contact the national TIR issuing Association. The issuing Association will contact the IRU, who will contact the national guaranteeing Association in the country where the problem occurs, with a view to resolving the problem. This Association can if necessary contact Customs in their country.

Are trucks with sheeted load compartments allowed to transport goods under TIR?

Yes, as stated in Article 3 of Annex 2 to the TIR Convention, sheeted vehicles are permitted to transport goods under a TIR Carnet, provided the specifications of the load compartment conform to the regulations on technical conditions applicable to road vehicles set out in articles 1 & 2 of Annex 2 of the TIR Convention. All vehicles that are to be used for TIR transports must have a valid certificate of approval that is carried with the vehicle.

Can a TIR Carnet be used if part of the journey takes place by sea or by rail?

The TIR Carnet can be used for road transit movements that also involve a journey by sea or rail. If a TIR operational country has the facilities to handle the TIR Carnet for journeys other than by road legs, the use of multi-modal TIR Carnets is possible. If it is not possible then the TIR transport is suspended during that element of the journey, which is therefore not covered by the TIR guarantee. The TIR transport, and control of the TIR Carnet, will be resumed at the first Customs office in a TIR operational country.

How are goods travelling under a TIR Carnet supervised if part of the journey takes place in a country that is not a TIR operational Contracting Party?

The TIR transport, and the use of the TIR Carnet as a Customs declaration and evidence of the TIR guarantee, is suspended during the element of the journey that takes place in the country that is not TIR operational. The TIR transport and control of the TIR Carnet is resumed at the first Customs office in a TIR operational Contracting Party. Article 26 of the TIR Convention refers.

Can you transport goods that cannot be sealed into a truck due to their nature (referred to as heavy or bulky goods) under a TIR Carnet?

Yes. The term "heavy or bulky goods" covers any heavy or bulky object, which because of its weight, size or nature is not normally carried in a closed vehicle or closed container. This can range from large machinery to livestock. Article 1 (p) of the TIR Convention refers. In such cases box 11 of the cover page of the TIR Carnet must be endorsed to the effect that heavy or bulky goods are being transported. The yellow manifest and each voucher of the Carnet must similarly be endorsed. Any additional documents such as photographs or plans required by Customs to identify heavy or bulky goods should be attached to the Carnet and noted in box 8 of every voucher in the TIR Carnet.

Can you carry wine under a TIR Carnet?

Yes, the exclusion of alcohol and derived products from using the TIR procedure does not apply to wine.

Can hydro carbon oil be transported under a TIR Carnet?

Yes, but in practice oil is normally transported under bilateral agreements. Transport operators should also verify whether they need to take account of the provisions of the European Agreement on International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Roads (ADR). In addition, transport operators should verify whether the intended countries of transit require oil to be escorted, especially for non-Contracting Parties to the ADR Agreement.

Can you transport goods covered by a TIR Carnet with goods covered by the EU’s Community Transit system (The NCTS) on the same vehicle?

It is possible to carry TIR and NCTS goods on the same vehicle, provided they are transported in different sealed load compartments and properly enumerated on the TIR Carnet and the accompanying NCTS document.

Can Customs ask for a guarantee to cover the road vehicle used to transport goods under the TIR procedure?

No. Article 15 of TIR Convention refers.

Can Customs require TIR goods to be escorted?

Customs should not normally require TIR transports to be escorted unless there is an increased risk of fraud that can be prevented by imposing escorts. The use of escorts should not be systematic. Article 23 of the TIR Convention refers. For information, under Article 20 of the TIR Convention Customs may fix time limits and prescribed routes to be followed by goods travelling under a TIR Carnet. If this is required, the details should be entered into field 20 of the vouchers of the TIR Carnet.

Can the TIR Carnet Holder be charged for having the TIR transport escorted?

Yes, but the use of escorts should be exceptional. Article 23 of the TIR Convention and its comments refer.

Can the Customs office of destination be changed?

Yes, see Article 27 of the TIR Convention.

Can you have different goods in the same truck, some covered by the TIR Carnet, and others not?

All goods loaded in the same sealed load compartment are covered by the guarantee of the TIR Carnet; whether or not they are enumerated in the TIR Carnet (Article 31 of the TIR Convention refers). If goods are not intended to be carried under the TIR procedure, then they must not be carried in the sealed load compartment referred to on the TIR Carnet.

Are the TIR and ATA Carnets interchangeable?

No, TIR and ATA are covered by two different Conventions which serve different purposes. Goods travelling under an ATA Carnet are generally intended for temporary admission, for example exhibitions, and are subsequently re-exported either back to their country of origin or to another country. A TIR Carnet cannot be substituted for an ATA Carnet, or vice versa.

What is SafeTIR?

SafeTIR is an electronic control system for TIR Carnets developed by the IRU to strengthen the security of the TIR system. Customs offices of destination send information to a central database at the IRU in Geneva to confirm the status of the termination of the TIR operation. This information is then made available to Customs worldwide. The issuing Association also enters information on issuance and return of the Carnet. The system enables TIR issuing Associations to cross-check the information given on TIR Carnets and to be certain that this information is accurate, and allows Customs to verify the termination of the TIR transport, and to have proof other than the receipt of the certificate of termination. SafeTIR now forms annex 10 to the TIR Convention.

What is CUTE?

CUTE (Customs Utility for TIR Transaction Entry) is one of the components of the SafeTIR system and is one method of entering TIRtermination data into the central IRU database. The TIR termination data is transmitted to the IRU electronically via CUTE.

What is CUTE-Wise?

CUTE-Wise (Customs Utility for TIR Transaction Entry - World-wide Information System for Enquiry) is an internet based application that allows TIR termination data (SafeTIR data) to be queried. Information on invalid TIR Carnets is also made available. You can access CUTE-Wise through: www.cutewise.org.

What is AskTIR?

AskTIR is a computer application developed by the IRU for use by Issuing Associations to manage their Holders and the issuance, control and return of TIR Carnets according to the rules and regulations of the IRU and the TIR Convention. It also allows Associations to check termination data for TIR Carnets issued by them.

Is the TIR Carnet the only document required for a TIR transport?

No, the transport operator should make sure that other commercial documents that may be required such as CMR, phyto-sanitary certificates, veterinary certificates, certificates of origin etc. accompany the TIR Carnet and are mentioned in field 8 of the vouchers of the TIR Carnet.

Is an authorised consignee allowed to terminate a TIR Carnet?

No, a TIR Carnet must always be terminated by a Customs officer using the official Customs stamp.

Quick navigation

CPD - Carnet de Passage
IDL - International Driving License
TIR System