The first ever intermodal TIR operation between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the EU took place recently, with a container leaving the UAE bound for Europe under a single customs transit document and a single guarantee. According to the IRU, TIR offers huge potential for improving transit connectivity between ports and borders with free zones and integrating them into the global logistics chain. The UAE’s strongest trading partners are India and China, both part of the TIR networks reinforcing the potential for the transit tool to transform trade along these corridors, the organisation states.
The landmark intermodal TIR container left the SAIF Zone in Sharjah, bound for Olomouc in the Czech Republic, via Jebel Ali port in the UAE and the port of Hamburg, Germany.
IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, said, “Once traders see the time and cost savings, TIR will become the go-to solution in the UAE and the region.” He was supported by Mohammed Juma Buosaiba, Director General of the Federal Customs Authority, who added, “Using TIR in our intermodal transport increases substantially the UAE’s global competitiveness. The system provides advantages and benefits to the economy, by simplifying the movement of national and international transport, and giving access to the global TIR network.”
The first TIR intermodal transport operation is the result of cooperation across the public and private sectors, with IRU working together with UAE member ATCUAE, the Federal Customs Authority (FCA), BGL of Germany, CESMAD Bohemia and the Czech customs administration. It also involved the opening of a new customs office for TIR at Sharjah’s SAIF Zone.
Preparations for the roll-out across of TIR transportation across all seven emirates are now progressing, and plans for further intermodal transport operations are the pipeline.