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Digitalisation of TIR Procedures, CMR Modernisation and the Silk Road Revival as the Push for the Development of the Industry

Digitalisation of TIR Procedures, CMR Modernisation and the Silk Road Revival as the Push for the Development of the Industry

6-7 March 2018 IRU Delegation composed by Secretary General Mr. Umberto de Pretto, Manager TIR Digitalization Mr. Raphael Hirt, Head of TIR Department of TOBB and President of BSEC-URTA Ms. Aslı Gözütok, General Delegate and Secretary General of BSEC-URTA Mr. Adrian Albu held meetings in Ankara with His Excellency Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Republic of Turkey Ahmet Arslan and His Excellency Minister of Customs and Trade of Republic of Turkey Bülent Tüfenkçi.

Meeting with HE Ahmet ARSLAN - Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications

of Republic of Turkey

Ankara, 6 March 2018, at 14.00 hrs


 IRU Attendants: Umberto de Pretto, Raphael Hirt ,Aslı Gözütok, Adrian Albu

Turkish Ministry: Erdem Direkler, Çisel Aslan, Hakan Yılmaz, Hasan Boz

The Minister was constructive and well briefed, followed the agenda, and responded favourably to IRU-TOBB’s main demand: to get support for further TIR digitalisation



v  Infrastructure Projects to address facilitation of transport

·         the current 2,200km motorways will be extended to approximately 9,680km by 2035.

·         2 tunnels under Bosporus (1 road cars, 1 railway)

·         3rd Bridge over  Bosporus

·         Accomplishment of entire Turkish related part of the Black Sea Ring Highway from Kapikule border with Bulgaria up to Sarpi border with Georgia.

·         3rd Airport of Istanbul (to operate next year-biggest of Europe)

·         Reconstruction and modernization of main border crossing point of Turkey with its neighbours


v  Intermodal transport (hinterland connections, ECJ case of Turkey against Austria on forcing Turkish hauliers to use combined transport

 ·         pioneering RO-RO with Italy and France (Trieste-Mersin)

 ·         potential intermodal corridors with Europe, Middle and Far East, China, India, Pakistan, UAE, Qatar

                 v  Bilateral / multilateral permit systems (including ECMT and BSEC)

                   ·         Freedom of transit and free of permits in bilateral road transport in the BSEC region.                     (The Timetable for implementation of objectives under the BSEC MoU on Facilitation of                        Road Transport of Goods has as deadline for liberalization of transit transport between                         BSEC Member States the date of 1 January 2019 and for liberalization of bilateral transport                    the date of 1 January 2020.)

                   ·         Further development of the BSEC Permit System started in 2010. (Strongly supported                   that time by Turkey: as of today has 8 participating BSEC Member States (Albania,                               Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine), is good for bilateral                       and transit transport along a round trip and has as validity 1 year. Support for shifting from 1               trip usage to multiple trips and expansion towards east by targeting joining to the system of                    Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan.


                    v  eCMR (national / bilateral pilot projects) (eCMR: Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) concerning the Electronic Consignment Note. Geneva, 27 May 2008. Entry into force: 5 June 2011)

·         eCMR Protocol signed by Turkey and some neighbours from the region such as: Iran, Bulgaria (in pipeline Greece, FYROM, Ukraine, Romania, Russia, Moldova)

·         good news of last week about a decision of MoT of Turkey and MoT of Spain to start a eCMR Pilot Project

·         eCMR Pilot Project on national level could be also an option (Greece is doing it)

·         eCMR along a Balkan route  and/or eCMR in the Black Sea region-could be options of Pilot Projects for Turkey in which could have a leading role


v  eTIR

·         TIR facilitates world trade

·         IRU guarantees huge amounts, need solid guarantee chain:

  o   Turkey first user of TIR carnets since 2000 without interruption

  o   In 2017,

      ð  200’000 carnets issued to Turkey Holders,

      ð  guarantee amount € 20’000’000’000

      ð  + € 7’000’000’000 for imports by foreign Holders

  o   Since 2000         

      ð  11’200’000 carnets issued to TOBB

      ð  Issuance more than USD 600’000’000’000 guarantees

      ð  (2nd is Russia with 7’000’000 TIR issued)

  o   Overall IRU issues guarantees 114'000'000'000/year worldwide, 18% to Turkish Holders

·         Successful eTIR Pilot project with Iran

  o   Ongoing. Proved that TIR can be digitalised

  o   Interest by Turkish operators, enabled to modernize procedures. Allowed technical progress for the benefit of trade and Customs:

       -       print@home,

       -       distance payment,

       -       real time data availability

  o   facilitated signature of new IRU and UNECE MoU in Oct 17, and the financing by IRU of UNECE activities in the field of TIR digitalisation

 ·         eTIR along Intermodal trade corridors

   o   EU-Asia, from Ukraine to Kazakhstan and China through Georgia-Azerbaijan,

   o   Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul, and North-South corridors through Iran to Pakistan and India,

   o   middle East: Oman, Qatar, soon Saudi Arabia

 ·         Real progress can be reached only with Turkey


             v  Participation of Minister in the IRU World Congress in Muscat, Oman during 6-8 November 2018


§  Modernisation and expansion of TIR and CMR is key for the sake of further facilitation of trade along important intermodal corridors in the region including India, Pakistan, the entire Middle East, and very importantly, the Silk Road to China.


§  It is important to continue building upon the last major achievements, such as the eTIR pilot project between Iran and Turkey, and the recent accession to the eCMR Convention by Turkey, to further expand these digital tools for the benefits of international trade.


§  The Ministry recently developed bilateral road transport agreements with China, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Morocco and Algeria and soon that  pilot road transport operations will start to China, Pakistan and Qatar.


§  Gradual liberalization of the road transport market in Europe targeting the freedom of transit and freedom of permits in bilateral road transport is a prerequisite for the efficient movement of goods traded by Turkey with its neighbours and other partners from EU, Middle East and Asia.  There is a positive approach of Turkey in this regard within the bilateral negotiations and not only but on multilateral level, too such as in the development of the BSEC and TRACECA Permit systems.


§   Cooperation of Ministry and IRU for digitalisation of transport documents is a key factor for facilitation of Trade and Transport.


§  IRU and Ministry to work jointly to have modern, facilitated intermodal trade corridors linking the EU, Asia and Gulf States.


§  Readiness to participate in the IRU World Congress in Muscat, Oman during 6-8 November 2018.



Meeting with HE Bülent Tüfenkçi, Minister of Customs and Trade of Republic of Turkey

 7 March 2018, 14h30-15h30


IRU Attendants: Umberto de Pretto, Raphael Hirt ,Asli Gözutok, Adrian Albu

Turkish Customs: M. Köseoglu, Didem Dirlik


The Minister was constructive and well briefed, followed the agenda, and responded favourably to IRU-TOBB’s main demand: to get support for further TIR digitalisation

Requests raised by IRU and TOBB:

-          Insisted on request to empower Didem Dirlik to voice Turkish interests in TIR at UNECE towards protectionist positions expressed by EU and Russian Federation. Soon there will be support from new countries (China, Pakistan, India,..)

-          IRU to continue be able to select National Associations

-          To move electronically in the frame of the 5 years MoU with UNECE, as interim legal framework

o   to have an intermodal corridor with Ukraine

o   to extend this corridor to Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and ultimately to China

o   open TIR operations with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States, later Irak

Conclusions by Minister:

-          TIR to be used by a maximum of Contracting Parties to the Convention. Turkey is/and will be helping new ones to join (China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq,…)

-          Underlined the good cooperation with TOBB and IRU

-          Highlighted the issue of electronic signature and the need for solution to it

-          Thanked IRU for financial contribution to UNECE

-          Computerisation should be boosted, example of Iran-Turkey Pilot Project

-          Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul corridor to be next operational under eTIR

-          Key is the legal frame: adoption of Annex 11 to the TIR Convention is very important

-          No barrier for intermodal eTIR Pilot Project between Turkey and Ukraine

-          Supported the extension of above mentioned Pilot Project to Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.

-          Supports the expansion of Iran-Turkey Pilot Project, knowing that this will require some resources at Customs

o   With IRU through a bilateral agreement

o   to more countries


Double Increase of BSEC Permits and Warmly Welcomed Initiative of Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey and TOBB of Digitalization of BSEC Permit System

The «BSEC Premit System» Meeting was held back-to-back with the 13th Meeting of the Steering Committee on Facilitation of Road Transport of Goods in the BSEC Region on 27 November 2018 in BSEC Headquarters in Istanbul

China and Eurasia incurred liabilities to facilitate transcontinental TIR transports

A China-Eurasia TIR roundtable took place on 6 November 2018 on the side-lines of the IRU World Congress in Muscat, Oman. The discussion focused on enhancing connectivity and boosting cooperation between China and Eurasian countries.

Cost-effective Extension of ATP Certificates in Turkey

Turkey is the country providing ATP Type Tests and renewal of ATP Licenses for refrigerated trucks owners on advantageous basis. In most of the countries average cost of extension of ATP documents is around 350-500 Euro, although in Turkey it is 245 Euro.

BSEC-URTA's Voice on the Meeting of the BSEC Ministers in Charge of Transport

Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Transport of the BSEC Member States took place in Boulevard Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25 October 2018. BSEC-URTA Secretary General, Mr. Adrian Albu, participated the meeting. He addressed the attendees with the following speech