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The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has encouraged hauliers to use the TIR system as means of streamlining customs checks on transports between the EU and the UK.

IRU member ZMPD (The Polish Association of International Road Transporters), together with transport operator Sachs Trans, recently organised the shipment of high-value goods in a special promotional vehicle to showcase the benefits of TIR.

The driver of the vehicle, Mirosław, left Racibórz in Poland in his truck carrying a sealed load of medical supplies. The lorry had a TIR carnet in the cabin and a blue TIR plate on the back of its trailer. According to the IRU, the truck arrived in Ashford after “speeding through customs.”

In a statement, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said that TIR could “make a real difference” to companies conducting transports between the UK and the EU:

“TIR works across borders all over the world and can make a real difference to companies struggling with the new EU/UK customs border. Amidst the pandemic, and its economic consequences, it is more important than ever to keep supply chains flowing quickly and efficiently. This special shipment of essential medical supplies to the UK shows once again that TIR works.”

The IRU has also released the following infographic to illustrate how the TIR system functions:

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Photo credit: IRU

It is nonetheless important to add that the TIR system cannot be used for all goods. The movement of tobacco and certain alcoholic beverages is forbidden. In addition, certain “sensitive goods” may also be excluded. Among the goods currently on that list are a number of meat and dairy products.

In a recent Trans.INFO interview, the boss of European haulage firm Whites Transport Services revealed that it was veterinary checks on those meat and dairy products that caused the vast majority of delays at the UK-EU border. Therefore, the TIR system will unlikely be a magic bullet for the companies transporting goods subject to additional checks.


Photo credit: IRU

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