ABU DHABI-The Federal Customs Authority (FCA) signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding with the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE) and the International Road Transport Union (IRU), to strengthen the strategic partnership in the application of the Digital TIR carnet system, and the management and control of goods transported between those customs departments qualified to use the system in the UAE and approved by the FCA.
The "Digital TIR" transport carnets are the first of their kind in the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) system, having been proposed by the UAE, which is the first country to use the system in the region.
The MoU was signed virtually by Ahmed Abdullah bin Lahej Al Falasi, Director-General of the FCA, Mohammed Ahmed bin Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, and Umberto de Pretto, Secretary-General of the IRU.
According to the MoU, the three parties will adopt the "Digital TIR" transport carnet, which is an updated carnet that can be printed and extracted by the book holder through the electronic application of the IRU, and used as an alternative to the "TIR" book in the transportation of goods from the customs office of departure to the customs office at the final destination in the UAE or any member state of the TIR Convention which adopts the "Digital TIR".
Ahmed bin Lahej said that the UAE has a prominent position on the global trade map, and is also a strategic partner and a regional business hub, due to its advantageous geographical location, along with the competitiveness of its business environment, and its free economic approach that is open to the world.
The MoU stipulates that the FCA shall coordinate with local customs departments to adopt the "Digital TIR" carnets printed by approved transport operators in the UAE, apply common rules and procedures to transport operations, under the TIR Convention and relevant federal and local legislation, and exchange electronic notifications concerning customs procedures when handling the transport operations referred to in the MoU.
For his part, Mohammed bin Sulayem said, "Being an active member of the IRU, the ATCUAE, on behalf of the transport and logistics sector in the UAE, extends its thanks to the FCA and local customs departments for their effective contribution to implementing the Digital TIR Project in the UAE." He also said, "I am sure that this project will achieve the vision of the UAE for reduction of carbon footprint and transformation towards a digital economy, through the governance and standardisation of customs procedures.
The Digital TIR project saves nearly 80 percent of the time for the participating companies and helps to reduce cost by more than 45 percent, in addition to the ready access to digital TIR carnets, which promotes easy transportation of goods using the TIR system."
He added, "All of these factors help us improve the logistics performance index of the UAE, support the security system and facilitate trade. We express our sincere appreciation to all the concerned individuals and teams in the FCA for their cooperation with the ATCUAE in applying the new system." For his part, Umberto de Pretto said, "The efforts exerted by the FCA for transformation towards "Digital TIR" demonstrate its commitment to support the trade movement and smooth operation of ports in an effective manner, through the automation of customs procedures.
"This will undoubtedly bring about real benefits to transport and logistics operators in the UAE and the whole region. I encourage all customs authorities in the Middle East region to transform their customs procedures towards "Digital TIR"."
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.