International Road Transport Union

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IRU Members

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is the world road transport organisation, which upholds the interests of bus, coach, taxi and truck operators to ensure economic growth and prosperity via the sustainable mobility of people and goods by road worldwide.[citation needed]


The International Road Transport Union (IRU) was founded in Geneva on 23 March 1948, one year after the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), to expedite the reconstruction of war-torn Europe through facilitated international trade by road transport.

The IRU started as a group of national road transport associations from eight western European countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

A global industry federation of national Member Associations and Associate Members in 73 countries on the 5 continents, the IRU today represents the interests of bus, coach, taxi and truck operators worldwide,[1] from large fleets to individual owner-operators.[citation needed] It aims to research and offer solutions to road transport issues and to aid in the synthesis and simplification of transportation regulations and practice.[2]


The IRU is involved in activities which include:

  • partnership among all its active and associate members and with related organisations and industries to define, develop and promote policies of common interest;
  • monitoring all activities, legislation, policies and events that impact the road transport industry, responding to and cooperating with all actors involved;
  • strategic reflection on global challenges of energy, competition and social responsibility, drawing on the strengths and expertise of its members channeled through the IRU Commissions and Working Parties;
  • dialogue with intergovernmental bodies, international organisations and all other stakeholders concerned by the road transport industry, including the public at large;
  • cooperation with policy makers, legislators and opinion-makers, in order to contribute to informed and effective legislation, striking the right balance between the needs and interests of all;
  • public-private partnerships with relevant authorities to implement legal instruments such as the TIR Convention under UN mandate or concrete transnational projects such as the reopening of the Silk Road;
  • communication of the role and importance of the road transport industry, of its position on various issues and of reliable data and information;
  • provision of practical services and information, to road transport operators, such as the latest fuel prices, waiting times at borders, secure parking areas, professional training, legislative developments, legal assistance, etc.
  • training to promote professional competence in the sector, improve the quality of services it offers and ensure compliance of road transport training standards with international legislation, through the IRU Academy.[citation needed] [3]

TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers)[edit]

IRU started the TIR System Transports (Internationaux Routiers) in the late 1940s, helping a war-torn Europe to rebuild devastated trade and commercial links.

By 1959, the successful system led to the United Nations TIR Convention, still in place today with almost 70 contracting parties – nations and multinational bodies – on four continents, and overseen by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

With the continued expansion of TIR, and the benefits it has brought across the Eurasian landmass, many countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America are now joining the system.[4]


  1. ^ European Conference of Ministers of Transport (2001). Economic Aspects of Taxi Accessibility. OECD Publishing. ISBN 9789282112878. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  2. ^ Cheng, Chia-Jui and Jiarui Cheng, editors (1990). Basic Documents on International Trade Law. BRILL. p. 85. ISBN 9781853333590. Retrieved 3 July 2016.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "About TIR". Retrieved 2016-09-14.

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