In yet another initiative to enhance and emphasize the betterment of freight transportation services, the Sultanate, represented by the ASYAD Group announced the implementation of the International Road Transport System (TIR) recently. Over the last decade, the governments in the GCC area have launched several initiatives to bring about a sea change in their logistics business environment. Bringing the public and private players together by creating a collaboration-friendly environment, these authorities have shown their clear intent to make this sector one of the main contributors to their economy that has been over-reliant on oil thus far. And their efforts surely seem to be making a huge difference in the way the GCC area is progressing as a logistics hub in the global supply chain market.
The main aim of this initiative is to reduce the time taken in cross-border shipments leading to much faster and more efficient deliveries. SINYAR, which is a member of the ASYAD Group will issue and oversee the issuance of TIR cards in close collaboration with and guidance of Royal Oman Police – Directorate of Customs. Through this policy, SINYAR will only allow those TIR cardholders to continue doing business in the area who are highly reliable and promise compliance with their system. This initiative, in its very first leg of the implementation, has already reduced the shipment time between Oman and Saudi Arabia by 72 percent, which will result in much stronger trade relationships between the two business entities and allow much faster freight movement.
The TIR has been securing and providing trade and international road transport for more than 60 years now. But with the new initiative, the country is all set to align itself with 100 other countries around the world in a bid to boost its trade policy. With this, they will also boost their trade relationships with other major business and trade entities like the Gulf, India, and Africa opening up a completely new business horizon for Oman. Not just that, it also emphasizes the Sultanate’s commitment to uplift cross-border trade with emerging and established markets.
Recently, Oman sent out their first consignment of edibles to Saudi Arabia under TIR and it resulted in cutting down the customs fee by 30 percent and shipment time by 50 percent. This is a great sign for the business environment in the area and reinforces the fact that TIR will make a huge impact on the way the Sultanate does freight business with other countries. Talking about this significant achievement, Badr Mohammed Al Nadabi, acting CEO of SINYAR commented saying that TIR, apart from enhancing the ease of doing business across borders, it will also make the customs process more robust. He further reinstated that the system will secure customs duties and taxes and put in place a guaranteed mechanism that will reduce transaction costs and the time spent waiting at international borders.
In a recent study announced by the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI), Oman ranked number 1 in cross-border trade in the GCC area. And now with the implementation of TIR, the Oman government can push themselves to retain their number one position. And experts from the trading world feel that this will have a significant impact on the overall business of the region as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to reduce the turnover by 19 percent in the Middle East. But with TIR promising to provide dedicated lanes for freight movement between Oman and the UAE and other existing trade links with countries like India, Pakistan, and China, Oman can reap the benefits of a more secure and efficient transit in their region and even beyond.
The Oman government has also been hinting at introducing eTIR in the near future which will further enable a paperless framework hastening the entire process, especially during the pandemic year.
While there are definite benefits of the TIR system when it comes to cross-border trade, this policy will also impact a lot of other industries indirectly. With the state planning to develop supporting infrastructure like an efficient road transportation system, it will create better opportunities for great trade and also increase job creation. All of this in the backdrop of a pandemic hit economy can fasten the recovery process and benefit the country in the long run. Not just that, the Oman government’s effort will also boost its image as a global logistics hub in the region that has the potential to navigate through the toughest crises and still provide a healthy business environment to different global players. Now that the country is part of this system and has joined more than 100 other members, Oman is sending clear signals that it is ready to be a market leader and provide its services in an efficient manner.