Saudi Arabia has become the 74th country to ratify the TIR Convention, a multilateral treaty to simplify and harmonize the administrative formalities of international road transport.
This was announced in a press release issued by International Road Transport Union (IRU).
The Saudi government will use the TIR system to help improve and develop its transport sector, as outlined in its Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020, positioning the country as a key logistics hub.
More than 30% of global trade crosses the Red Sea, making Saudi Arabia crucial for goods transit through Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the wider Middle East.
The GCC has collectively committed to join the TIR system, with Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE already signatories, and Bahrain and Oman set to join soon.
“Saudi Arabia’s ratification is an important milestone in dramatically increasing and securing trade flows across the GCC, as well as the rest of the Arab world and beyond,” said Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of International Road Transport Union (IRU).
“I’m delighted to welcome Saudi Arabia into the global TIR family of nations and look forward to work closely with the Saudi authorities to swiftly implement the system,” he added.
Saudi Arabia joins major trading nations, including Pakistan, China and India, to ratify TIR recently.
TIR transits began operating last week across the China-Russia border, and last month between Pakistan and Iran.
TIR is the only global customs transit system. It guarantees the payment of customs duties and taxes, and makes border crossings faster, more secure and more efficient, reducing transport costs, and boosting trade and development.
GCC transport and trade prospects will take center stage at the 2018 IRU World Congress in Muscat, Oman, this November, including a focus on new intermodal corridors that connect Africa, Asia and Europe via GCC countries using the TIR system.
On March 23, 2017, Saudi Arabia announced its decision to accede to the TIR Convention.
Saudi Customs hosted an IRU team led by Umberto de Pretto in Riyadh last year to offer insights and guidance on TIR as a tool to streamline trade facilitation across the Middle East.
The Kingdom’s accession to TIR, with its benefits of seamless cross-border connectivity, will open new road corridors transforming the trade potential of the region.
A workshop in Riyadh last March provided a framework to build awareness among the pertinent stakeholders and to discuss the practical aspects of accession and implementation of TIR in the Kingdom.