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Monday, 10 October 2016

Namibia demonstrates how Africa can reduce trade costs

African countries, such as Namibia, have demonstrated just how the implementation of the TIR (International Road Transport) Convention can boost intra-trade. TIR is the world’s only universal customs transit system and one of the most successful international transport conventions. The International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) says its recently published study, ‘Transit costs in East and Southern Africa’, has “clearly demonstrated how African countries implementing the TIR Convention can reduce the costs of trade in southern and eastern Africa by hundreds of dollars per container, thus saving billions of dollars and increasing GDP in African countries”. “The results show that TIR is up to 16 times less expensive than the national bond system on the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor, and is also substantially more cost efficient on the three other African trade corridors in the study,” Umberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General said of the report released on September 29. IRU is the world’s road transport organisation founded in 1948 in Geneva to help war-torn Europe rebuild devastated trade and commercial links, but whose alliances have since expanded to all continents, encompassing passenger and goods mobility by road, as well as intermodal journeys and innovative mobility services. The TIR Convention is gaining momentum with government authorities and businesses on Africa’s trade corridors. IRU is working closely with stakeholders in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia to analyse the potential benefits of TIR and to work towards accession and implementation.