The TIR Customs transit system is based on 6 essential principles, or basic requirements – the 6 pillars of the TIR System. These are :
Goods are carried in containers or load compartments that are constructed so that :
The TIR Convention sets out technical standards of construction and approval procedures.
If the container or load compartment meets the requirements, national inspection/approval authorities (usually Customs) issue 'approval certificates'. An approval certificate is valid for two years and can be renewed.
Goods may only be carried under a TIR Carnet if the sealed container or load compartment has a valid approval certificate, unless "heavy and bulky goods" are being transported.
If goods are not transported and delivered securely to the Customs at destination, the TIR holder may be liable for Customs duties and taxes payable within countries of transit.
The TIR System ensures that customs duties and taxes at risk are covered for the duration of the transit operation. The national guaranteeing association acts as guarantor if the customs debt cannot be recovered from the TIR holder or other persons that are directly liable.
In every country where TIR operates there is an Association representing the interests of the transport sector.
This National Association is authorised by the Customs administration of that country to guarantee up to a fixed amount any customs duties or taxes that may become due to the national customs administration, in the course of a TIR operation.
The National Association's guarantee extends to TIR operations using TIR Carnets issued by Associations in other countries.
Each National Issuing and Guaranteeing Association is contractually bound to the IRU and is thus a participant in the International Chain of Guarantee.
The TIR Carnet is an internationally standardised customs document used to :
The TIR Carnet is a strictly accountable document and there are strict rules for the secure handling of TIR Carnets.
The principle is :
Customs in the country of departure take control measures, such as :
This check by the Customs office of departure is recognised and accepted by all other Customs offices during the transit operation.
This means Customs offices of transit do not routinely re-examine goods sealed and transported under TIR procedures.
The TIR Convention sets out rules and conditions that provide for :
The TIR Convention ratified a set of rules and conditions in August 2006 that provide for :