China’s accession to the United Nations TIR Convention opens prospects for new international trade routes

The Secretary-General of the United Nations informed on 5 July 2016, bringing the number of Contracting Parties to the TIR Convention to 70 on the 5 continents. The Convention will enter into force for China on 5 January 2017.

EU-China trade reached EUR 520bn in 2015, and some 60% transited by sea, according to Eurostat estimates, while rail and road accounted for some 10% of China’s exports to the EU, and 3.2% of the EU’s exports to China.

The accession will facilitate trade with Central Asian countries, Mongolia and the European Union. China’s neighbours on its northern and western borders are already Contracting Parties to the TIR Convention, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan.

The application of the TIR system will shift China export goods under a single, simplified transit procedure to EU countries for all modes of transport. More than 1,200 Chinese road transport companies ship freight across China’s land borders, conducting more than 700,000 transit operations per year.