TIR convention

Acronym: Transport International Routier (international road transport)

What is the TIR convention?


The TIR convention is an international system which simplifies and accelerates the international transport of goods by road. The principle is straightforward – rather than multiple customs controls at every border, customs authorities seal compartments from the country of origin and unseal them at the country of arrival. Multiple controls are thus avoided whilst maintaining optimal reliability. This streamlining of procedures provides the advantage of reduced waiting times at borders and reduced transport costs. 


The TIR system was created by the convention relative to the international transport of goods by road in 1959. The of the United Nations, created in 1975 has been in application since 20 March 1978. Over 70 countries have signed the convention and another twenty or more countries wish to sign it. It’s worth pointing out that international transit operations under TIR do not require national documents. The containers are secured, and goods do not require additional checks.


TIR: the major actors


The mobilizes diverse actors:

  • The EEC-UNA, or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which coordinates the convention and ensures that it is applied correctly;
  • International Road Transport Union (IRU) which manages the TIR international guarantees chain;
  • authorities which use the TIR regime at national level;
  • National associations which, in each country, grant TIR guarantees to approved transport companies;
  • Transport and logistics companies and their associations which have been granted approval for transport under TIR.


Examples and practical applications


Criteria for TIR transport

Being highly regulated, TIR transport responds to certain requirements criteria, as follows:

  • A national association needs to be authorized by authorities of the country of origin;
  • The national association attributes a guarantee to transporters who adhere to the TIR system;
  • Road transporters must be able to present a certificate with TIR registration number plate affixed to heavy goods vehicles.
  • The national association provides the transporter with which allow to check information about the goods being transported.


The advantages of the TIR convention

The system is as advantageous for transporters as it is for authorities. Indeed, logistics companies appreciate:

  • The reduction in transport costs;
  • Simplification of formalities;
  • Reduction in transport delays;
  • Minimized interference;
  • Elimination of guarantee deposits at borders.


services are also in favor of the for the following reasons:

  • The TIR represents a reduction in physical checks;
  • documentation is simplified;
  • The system is protected, especially by the transporters’ registration system;
  • The TIR allows for improved deployment of personnel;
  • National associations guarantee payment of duties and taxes up to 100,000 euros per transit operation.


Now available in digital format, the TIR has gained in rapidity, simplicity and reliability. The information is available in real time, which allows for online surveillance, greater security and flexibility in terms of guarantees.


TIR in figures


34,000 specialized companies use the .

1.2 million TIR transits were made in 2017.

Savings in transport times can reach as much as 80% according to estimations.

Up to 38% in cost savings can also be expected.


Regulatory basis


EEC regulation n° 2112/78 of the Council of 25 July 1978 Council