Report shows African countries can reduce trade costs through TIR system

African countries can reduce the cost of trade in Southern and Eastern Africa, saving billions of dollars and increasing GDP, when implementing the TIR Convention as demonstrated by the International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) report, Transit costs in East and Southern Africa.

TIR has, since 1949, made international freight transits faster, more efficient and more secure, helping increase trade, boosting economic growth and making communities stronger. With TIR, goods are contained in sealed load compartments, and the contents are detailed in a TIR Carnet. This essential document accompanies the driver and the cargo along its journey. Customs simply have to verify the Carnet and that the seals are intact, rather than spend time opening the container and physically check the load.

Umberto de Pretto, IRU secretary general said, “Some of the world’s highest trade costs can be found in Africa and the world’s road transport organisation, IRU, is working to support governments and the private sector to reduce these costs.”

He continued “The report results show that TIR is up to 16 times less expensive than the national bond system on the Northern Corridor between Walvis Bay and Lubumbashi, and is also substantially more cost efficient on the three other African trade corridors in the study.” The report unequivocally concludes that the TIR system is the most cost-effective transit bond method and could be deployed on all trade corridors in Africa.

Working towards accession and implementation

TIR, the world’s only universal customs transit system and one of the most successful international transport conventions, has a big role to play in reducing the costs of trade. TIR makes border crossings faster, more secure and more efficient, reducing transport costs and boosting trade and development.

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