TIR operations – the global customs transit standard – have started at the Chinese-Kazakh border advancing lower cost, faster, and more secure trade flows across Eurasia. The important milestone signals the activation of the new Silk Road overland link from China to Europe.
The passage of this first TIR truck follows the implementation of TIR in China in recent weeks. It is now en route to Georgia, transiting Kazakhstan and Russia. It crossed the Chinese border at Khorgos, one of the biggest dry ports, which is a cornerstone of plans to reactivate the Silk Road as part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Next steps will see further TIR transports along this route and expansion to other border-crossing points in the region acting as key trade gateways towards Eurasia and Europe. IRU encourages transport operators to test other routes across the China-Mongolia and China-Kyrgyzstan borders, which are also open for TIR.
Khorgos is the most popular border crossing point between Kazakhstan and China, with robust infrastructure already in place. Transport is the fastest growing sector in Kazakhstan, with the rapid development of transit traffic on the Europe-China route of particular significance. Situated at the centre of international trade, the country is a natural land bridge between these regions.
The only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders, TIR “Transports Internationaux Routiers” has been supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, by allowing customs-sealed vehicles and freight containers to transit countries with minimal border checks. It is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention and managed by the world road transport organisation, IRU.