Custom-free trade: Pakistan to enforce TIR convention for transit goods

Policy to provide legal framework for goods transfer without payment of taxes

Peer Muhammad January 20, 2016
Policy to provide legal framework for goods transfer without payment of taxes. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will begin enforcement of the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods (TIR Convention) from today (Thursday).

The convention will provide a legal framework for traffic in transit of goods across borders among the contracting parties without involving payment of customs duties and taxes. “Joining the TIR would facilitate trade with Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) countries and China through land routes,” said an officer in the Ministry of Commerce.

He said that the customs’ control measures taken in the country of departure would be accepted by all countries of transit and destination. “At present, Pakistan has to pay 101% guarantee to Afghanistan to reach the Central Asian countries.”

The implementation of the TIR system is also expected to further enhance and ensure viability of capital intensive projects at the ports of Karachi and Gwadar.

Before this convention, Pakistan had difficulties in conducting trade through land routes with the Central Asian States, Turkey and Europe as there was no mechanism that could provide protection from customs duties and taxes in transit countries.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe introduced the TIR convention in 1975 which become effective in 1978.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2016.

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