China has taken a key step toward developing an international economic corridor for trade with the European Union and the rest of the world with the ratification of the United Nations TIR Convention.
The TIR transit system is a global intermodal customs transit system that will allow China to move exported goods under a single, simplified transit procedure to EU countries for all modes of transport. This will allow the country to ship a container to any other member country without it having to undergo multiple customs checks, according to a Reuters report.
China joins 69 other countries on 5 continents by ratifying the TIR Convention, looking to open up new avenues for increased trade with the rest of the world.
“China’s accession to the TIR Convention will open new efficient and faster transport opportunities and transport routes between China and Europe,” said Christian Friis Bach, UNECE Executive Secretary. “It can become a real game changer for international trade and is a strong contribution to the Chinese vision for ‘One Road One Belt’.”
China already moves large amounts of goods to other countries and its trade with the European Union alone reached €520 billion in 2015. The bulk of that trade was moved by sea. Rail and road only accounted for 10% of China’s exports to the EU and 3.2% of the EU’s exports to China.
More than 35,000 road transport operators worldwide are authorized to use the TIR system, affecting 1.5 million TIR border crossing procedures per year. In addition to Europe, China will also open up trade opportunities with other Central Asian countries and the Russian Federation.