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  1. I would like to use the TIR system. Where can I get some basic information on how it works?
  2. Why do I need to be authorised to receive TIR carnets?
  3. Where can I find out about the law concerning TIR?
  4. What is meant by the fact that the European Community is a single territory for TIR purposes?
  5. Can I use TIR for movements within the European Community?
  6. In which countries can I use TIR?
  7. Can I use TIR to move all types of goods?
  8. Must road transport be used for TIR?
  9. What is meant by vehicle approval?
  10. What are customs offices of departure, entry/exit and destination?
  11. Can I load and/or unload goods at more than one place?
  12. Where I can I find out which Customs offices deal with TIR?
1.  I would like to use the TIR system. Where can I get some basic information on how it works?
In the first instance you should approach your national Customs authorities. In addition you can visit the website of the International Road Transport Union (IRU)
2.  Why do I need to be authorised to receive TIR carnets?
Because this is a requirement of the TIR Convention. In order to reduce fraudulent activity TIR carnets can only be issued to authorised persons (who are known as TIR carnet holders). Although the detailed procedures concerning authorisation vary slightly between Member States, the basic conditions are the same. For example you must have some experience of international transport, your finances must be sound, you must have a proven knowledge of the TIR Convention and you must not have committed any Customs or tax offences.
3.  Where can I find out about the law concerning TIR?
The TIR Convention 1975 contains the basic legal conditions. Where necessary these have been augmented by Community legislation (the Customs Code and its Implementing provisions) and national legislation.
4.  What is meant by the fact that the European Community is a single territory for TIR purposes?
Although each Member State is a Contracting Party to the TIR Convention and has its own national guaranteeing association, because the Community has no internal Customs borders, it is not possible to check the TIR movement as it crosses from one Member State to another. The consequence of this is that a TIR movement cannot be made just between 2 or more Member States - a country outside the Community must also be involved. By the same token in the case of irregularities it may not always be possible to identify the Member State where the irregularity occurred. In order to meet the TIR Convention's requirements concerning the notification of a potential non termination to the appropriate guaranteeing association it is necessary that a notification sent to one association is deemed to have been also sent to the other associations.
5.  Can I use TIR for movements within the European Community?
Yes, but only on condition that the movement goes via a third country or that the TIR movement has started or will end in a third country. Because the Community is a single territory it is not possible to use TIR for movements between Member States.
6.  In which countries can I use TIR?
Although there are currently 64 Contracting Parties to the TIR Convention, it is not possible to use TIR in all of these countries. A list of the Contracting Parties and the countries where TIR can be used may be found in Part 3 of the TIR Handbook
7.  Can I use TIR to move all types of goods?
No. The movement of tobacco and certain alcoholic beverages is forbidden. In addition, certain so-called sensitive goods are also excluded. The decision to exclude these goods has been taken by the guaranteeing bodies and the list of goods can be viewed on the IRU's website.
8.  Must road transport be used for TIR?
Yes. At least some part of the journey must be made by road. Other means of transport (for example, by rail and sea) can be used provided there is also a road transport leg. The TIR system will be suspended for the duration of the non road leg.
9.  What is meant by vehicle approval?
The use of approved secure vehicles or containers is one of the 5 main principles of the TIR system. The TIR Convention sets out the technical specification of the vehicles' load compartment and vehicles have to be tested to ensure that they meet these specifications. The procedure for testing vehicles varies from Member State ; in some the task is performed by the Customs authorities while in others it is performed by other government agencies. Once approved a certificate of approval is issued and this must be kept with vehicle and presented to Customs when requested.
10.  What are customs offices of departure, entry/exit and destination?
These terms are defined in Article 1 of the TIR Convention. In brief the customs office of departure is where the TIR transport starts. This office has a key responsibility to ensure that the TIR transport complies with the requirements of the TIR Convention. The Customs control measures applied by this office are generally accepted by the other Customs offices that become involved in the TIR transport. The offices of exit and entry are the border customs offices through which the TIR transport passes. The office of destination is the customs office where the goods and TIR Carnet must be presented in order to terminate the TIR transport.
11.  Can I load and/or unload goods at more than one place?
Yes. The TIR carnet may cover goods loaded or unloaded at more than one office of departure or destination provided the total number of these offices does not exceed 4.
12.  Where I can I find out which Customs offices deal with TIR?
In the great majority of cases the Customs offices responsible for Community/common transit are also responsible for TIR. The list of these offices is available on the Commission's website.