It covers the whole of Europe and includes countries in North Africa and the Near and Middle East. The United Kingdom has signed the TIR Convention (Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets) with other 70 Contracting Parties that recognize the TIR carnet. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the initiator of the TIR Convention.
In essence, the TIR procedure facilitates the movement of goods:
- in sealed vehicles or containers,
- from a customs office of departure in one country to a customs office of destination in another country,
- without requiring extensive and time-consuming border checks at intermediate borders,
- while at the same time providing customs authorities with the required security and guarantees.
The security payment system is administered by the International Road Transport Union (IRU).
Those involved in the transit process in the EU are required to meet fairly stringent obligations. These include requirements to:
- Present the goods intact at the customs office of destination within the prescribed time-limit,
- Present the required information at the customs office of destination within the prescribed time-limit,
- Observe all customs provisions relating to the procedure,
- If required, provide a guarantee to ensure payment of any customs debt or other charges.