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Vietnam’s accession to the international haulage TIR Convention has taken a step closer after it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Road Transport Union (IRU).
The decision to ratify the TIR convention follows similar announcements over the past two months from several other countries, including Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and the UAE.
Administered by the IRU, the UN convention allows goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments.
Customs verify the carnet and check the seals, with no need for physical checking of the contents. This enables trucks to pass through countries without being opened at borders, cutting customs clearance from days to hours.
Under the MoU, the Vietnamese government and the IRU will “work together to promote transport and trade in the region”, with the IRU also offering support to Vietnam in its TIR accession.
“Cross-border trucking from China to Vietnam and to a wider extent to ASEAN, is growing fast and the signing of such a convention is great news,” said Marc Moeschlin, managing director of Bolloré Logistics Vietnam.
“At Bolloré Logistics Vietnam, we welcome the greater connectivity in this region, and I must say that the Vietnamese authorities have done some smart infrastructure investments, improving the road system to a good standard in the north.
“This might also make it easier to connect the south-west of China with the up-coming deepsea port in Haiphong, as well as facilitate westbound traffic with, for example, easier truck-rail possibilities via China to Europe,” he added.
Roy Chau, general manager of CH Robinson Vietnam, added that the move would encourage international logistics players to develop cross-border services within South-east Asia and China, including e-commerce trade, and even Asia-EU tradelanes.
“This is good news, which shows the commitment from the government to increase transparency and promote integration for the Vietnam market, and to strengthen economic trade cooperation with Vietnam within the region and with the rest of the world by enhancing cooperation on legal framework for transit at bilateral, regional and global levels,” he told The Loadstar.
According to Mr Chau, over 90% of Vietnam’s import and export goods were previously transported by sea.
“However, while Vietnam’s participation in the international road transport convention is relatively small, because of trade globalisation and economic development, as well as Vietnam’s strategic geographic position, road transport – especially international – is becoming more and more important.”
He said the benefits to shippers would include more options for their supply chains, better customs guarantees and transparency, optimised intermodal transport and reduced transit times and costs.
In a separate development, Sudan has also moved towards TIR after the Sudanese Union of Chambers of Commerce gained IRU membership and the country’s customs body nominated it as the guarantor and issuing association for TIR in Sudan.
In a statement, the IRU said TIR would support implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s trade facilitation agreement requirements on transit, which Sudan is attempting to join.
In Iraq, the IRU said the opening of the Trebil border with Jordan had reinforced the need for both countries to accede to TIR as quickly as possible.
“Jordan’s current application of the TIR system and Iraq’s accession highlights the system as a means to facilitate the secure transit of goods with a single international guarantee,” said the IRU.