India’s accession United Nations TIR Convention would have a big impact on regional connectivity.
India has become 71st country to join United Nations TIR Convention, international customs transit system, to position itself as the regional trading and transit hub.
The TIR system is the International Customs Transit System with the widest geographical coverage.
As the other customs transit procedures, TIR procedure enables goods to move under the customs control across international borders without payment of duties and taxes.
The TIR Convention is more than transport agreement and has a strong foreign policy element.
In a world where, the China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) is dominating project straddling the economics and the geopolitics, India had no option but to play a better game if it wants to be counted as serious rising power.
Welcoming India into Global Transport Arrangement, Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of the IRU which manages TIR Convention, stated from Geneva that India’s accession would have a big impact on the Regional connectivity.
TIR can thus help implement the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement by addressing policy incompatibility among the BBIN group. For example, Bangladesh does not recognise the insurance policies made in India, Nepal or Bhutan. With TIR, there would be no need for the bilateral arrangements as the guarantors are covered by global guarantee chain.
One of persistent problems for India’s connectivity projects has been disconnect between the transport and the customs systems with the different countries.
Once the systems are integrated with the global norms, India reckons it will thus become easier to service the African and Asian markets when the DMIC (Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor) comes online.
It will breathe life into International North-South Transport Corridor and Chabahar project that India has been working on for some time.
A statement from IRU (International Roads Union) stated that this was “part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate economy with the global and the regional production networks”.