It’s ‘back to the future’ for international hauliers needing smooth transport across borders after Brexit, with the International Road Transport Union (IRU) claiming firms are returning to the TIR system.

The IRU said paperwork, delays and a shortage of customs brokers and transit guarantees meant transport operators were turning to the TIR carnet as “a simple, cost-effective and easily accessible” method to manage new customs border arrangements.

The union highlighted the case of Polish haulier Sachs Trans, whose driver (pictured) transported a sealed load of medical supplies from Raciborz to Ashford in Kent and sped through customs with just “a TIR carnet in the cabin and a blue TIR plate on the back of the trailer”.

TIR is a long-standing convention covering all EU countries, which avoids the use of national transit procedures through the use of customs-sealed containers.

A carrier must have vehicles and containers that comply with the requirements and have been inspected and certified.

Umberto de Pretto, IRU secretary general, said: “TIR works across borders all over the world and can make a real difference to companies struggling with the new EU/UK customs border.

“Amidst the pandemic, and its economic consequences, it is more important than ever to keep supply chains flowing quickly and efficiently.

“This special shipment of essential medical supplies to the UK shows once again that TIR works,” de Pretto added.