TIR Carnet (TIR)


A TIR Carnet is an internationally recognised customs document used to facilitate the movement of goods across borders by road freight transport. It acts as both a transit declaration and a security guarantee, simplifying and standardising customs procedures and ensuring the payment of all duties and taxes.


The TIR Carnet document is issued by national associations affiliated with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the guaranteeing organisation for the TIR system.

The primary users of the TIR Carnet are transport companies involved in the international movement of goods by road and Customs authorities of contracting parties to the TIR Convention, 1975.

Legal requirement

The legal instrument the Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention), 1975, an international treaty administered by the UNECE.


TIR Carnets are accepted in 78 countries/customs territories. As of 2019, the IRU reported that over 3 million TIR Carnets were issued annually worldwide.


In 2003, the contracting parties to the TIR Convention launched the eTIR project to fully computerise the TIR procedure.

The aim of the project, and in particular the eTIR international system, was to ensure the secure exchange of data between national customs systems for the international transit of goods, vehicles or containers according to the provisions of the TIR Convention and to allow customs to manage the data on guarantees, issued by the guarantee chain to authorised users of the TIR system.

The standard is based on the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards and the WCO Data Model.


There is no IT platform for the TIR Carnet. However, the fully digitised TIR mechanism it is managed by the eTIR international system. Once fully implemented, the TIR Carnet document will be replaced by the accompanying document under the eTIR procedure.


  • Issuing organisation
  • Validity date
  • Holder of the TIR Carnet
  • Containers identification
  • TIR Carnet reference number
  • Customs office of departure
  • Country of departure
  • Country of destination
  • Registration number of road vehicles
  • Identification marks or numbers of packages or articles
  • Number of packages
  • Description of goods
  • Gross weight
  • Seals or identification marks
  • Customs office departure date
  • Route
  • Customs office of departure or of entry en route


The eTIR project is in the early stage of adoption. Some countries have launched pilots projects that proved successful. Information about the eTIR project is available on the eTIR website.


It is the aim of the UNECE and the TIR secretariat to continue to provide a well-functioning international mechanism to further improve cooperation and coordination among contracting parties to the TIR Convention and the transport industry. The legal framework is continuously discussed at its respective governing bodies where contracting parties to the TIR Convention raise aspects to ensure the TIR transit system operates in a streamlined manner and to ensure the TIR transit system is always in line with the requirements of the transport industry and the Customs authorities alike. The UN is the depositary of the TIR Convention and provides the framework and services to administer and, where necessary, adapt the TIR Convention to changing requirements.