3 March 2011
At its 73rd session (1-3 March 2011), the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) has approved a position paper finalized by its Working Party on Rail Transport. The paper describes a strategy and an approach towards unified railway law in the pan-European region and on Euro-Asian land transport corridors. As a first step, it is foreseen to negotiate in 2011 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or similar intergovernmental document providing a framework for General Terms and Conditions for Euro-Asian rail transport contracts (GTC EurAsia).
Negotiation of this intergovernmental document will be undertaken by a UNECE Group of Experts that will meet on 6 May and 16 September 2011 in Geneva. Participation in this work is open to registered Governmental and industry experts.
In parallel, under the auspices of OSJD and CIT and in cooperation with UNECE and OTIF, legal experts will prepare the underlying GTC EurAsia that will provide a model for Euro-Asian rail transport contracts applicable in COTIF and SMGS member States. GTC EurAsia will address all essential elements of such contracts of a non-commercial nature.
This first public-private partnership in this field is expected to establish a transparent political and legal framework for Euro-Asian rail transport operations in line with the applicable laws and regulations of COTIF and SMGS participating countries and will allow rail transport operations along Euro-Asian corridors with one transport contract, one consignment note and one liability regime.
Together with the continuing activities to facilitate border crossings, UNECE Governments will herewith provide the industry with a solid basis for competitive Euro-Asian rail transport operations.
The MoU and the GTC EurAsia are expected to be finalized and adopted by the UNECE Working Party on Rail Transport on 4 November 2011. They will be open for signature by Governments and railway companies at the UNECE Inland Transport Committee session on 28 February 2012
UNECE, OSJD and CIT will monitor the implementation of the MoU and the GTC EurAsia to ensure transparent and non-discriminatory application
For more details and possible participation in these activities, please contact the UNECE secretariat: SC.firstname.lastname@example.org.