Abu Dhabi Department of Finance / General Administration of Customs today signed an agreement with the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE to work together to introduce a global customs transit system in the Emirates which will reduce the time trucks spend at borders from days to hours.
Currently linking 73 countries worldwide, the TIR (International Road Transport) System provides major benefits for transport operators and customs authorities.
It reduces transport costs by minimising formalities and delays through the use of standardised inspection methods, and international customs documents known as Carnets, which are issued on behalf of the International Road Transport Union (IRU).
The agreement was signed by Mr. Mohammed Khadim Al Hameli, Acting Director General of the General Administration of Customs (Abu Dhabi), and ATCUAE President Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem in the presence of Dr. Nadhem Bin Taher, Executive Director of Land Transport at The National Transport Authority (NTA).
Al Hameli said: “Abu Dhabi Customs was among the first government departments established in the Emirate, and this agreement reinforces our long standing commitment to strengthen cooperation with neighbouring customs administrations and reach the highest standards of safety and security in land transport movement in UAE.”
“TIR System will reinforce the best global practices in road transportation in line with international agreements and covenants signed by the UAE. It will save time and effort and will significantly reduce costs through expediting formalities and enhance their efficiency through the use of standardised inspection methods on trucks crossing the border, particularly to Saudi Arabia, which is witnessing the biggest movement of land transport within the country,” he added.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) sees the TIR system as a major step to meeting and fulfilling the requirements of the Federal Law no. 9 for the year 2011 and its Executive Regulations concerning land transport.
Appointed by the NTA as the official authority in the UAE to issue TIR Carnets for truck operators, the ATCUAE is already an active member of the IRU, and has been in discussions with the Federal Government for several months towards implementing the system in the UAE.
“We are very happy to have formed a new working partnership with Abu Dhabi Customs and are grateful for their invaluable support,” said Ben Sulayem, who signed a similar agreement with Dubai Customs last month.
“We now look forward to reaching similar agreements with the customs authorities in the other Emirates, and hope to be able to fully activate the TIR system in the UAE by the end of the year, and then immediately start issuing TIR carnets.”
The TIR System allows goods to transit from a country of origin to a country of destination in sealed load compartments, with customs control recognition along the supply chain. This means duties and taxes at risk are guaranteed, and the need for physical inspection of goods in transit is greatly reduced, so that administrative and financial burdens are minimised.
“It cuts the time trucks spend at the borders from days to a matter of hours,” said Ben Sulayem. “This will benefit the transport industry overall, and will be welcomed by a huge range of goods manufacturers and suppliers, by customers, as well as each of the customs authorities.”
Dr. Bin Taher noted that this agreement follows the Land Transport Law of International Goods Transport in cooperation with the strategic partners locally and globally. This comes with the directions of H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and Chairman of National Transport Authority (NTA) to implement the Law according to the plan commenced in September 2013 in order to enhance the Transport system and to adhere to international agreements the UAE signed to facilitate the movement of transport and commerce between countries.
An IRU team will visit the UAE shortly to introduce the highly computerised TIR system which delivers pre-declarations to Customs, ensuring real-time traceability of TIR Carnets and efficient risk management, making border procedures faster, more secure and user-friendly.