Huge Potential For Trade In South Asia Using Global Transit System

On 25th October 2017 Jaipur-based CUTS International (Consumer Unity and Trust Society), in partnership with IRU launched a study on the benefits of a multi-lateral transit system – like the globally applicable TIR – on trade across the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) region. 

Paired with India’s inauguration of its TIR steering committee, the study reinforces growing endorsement across the region of TIR’s potential to benefit economic growth and sustainable development via a robust global framework of road transport services.

Analysing the BBIN’s capacity to grow a significant trade network, the report highlights procedural as well as infrastructural barriers to the efficient movement of vehicles across borders. Customs clearance procedures between India and Bangladesh, for example, can require 22 documents, 55 signatures and a dozen photocopies – with the formats and standards varying significantly.

Yet recent progress with various unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral arrangements is improving connectivity between the four countries. Notably the 2015 Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) is a milestone in improved trade facilitation, promoting investment linkages among these countries.

In order for the MVA to be effectively implemented, however, a streamlined transit system operating among the four countries and also connecting the BBIN region to other world markets is essential.

The study concludes that TIR is the ideal, tried and tested, customs transit tool to realise the ambitions of the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, to promote regional and inter-regional trade flow.

Established in 1984, CUTS International is a global non-governmental think-tank on trade, regulations and governance.

IRU is the world road transport organisation, promoting economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods. Founded in 1948, IRU has members and activities in more than 100 countries.

TIR – Transports Internationaux Routiers – is the only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders. Supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, TIR is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention and its treaty bodies and administered by UNECE.