Transport

The UNECE has established 57 transport agreements and conventions which are negotiated by government representatives and become legally binding for countries which ratify or accede to them. These agreements and conventions create international safety and environmental standards and regulations for transport and for motor vehicles and their trailers, harmonize national regulations, make border crossings less complicated, and provide for the development of coherent infrastructure networks for road, rail and inland waterway transport.

Legal instruments by category

Transport Infrastructures

The development of infrastructures leading to an integrated European transport system is a major priority for the UNECE. The foundations have been laid in three international agreements negotiated in the UNECE and constantly kept under review.  The European Agreement on Main International Traffic Arteries (AGR) defines the "E" road network of routes of strategic importance for international traffic flows and sets the standards to which they should conform.  The European Agreement on Main International Railway Lines (AGC) identifies rail routes of international importance and their technical characteristics. The encouragement of transport using one type of equipment - container for example - but combining the advantages of road, rail, inland waterway or maritime modes of transport is another priority field of activity for the Committee. The European Agreement on Important International Combined Transport Lines and Related Installations (AGTC) creates a plan for the development of international combined transport infrastructure and services on the basis of an international network and generally accepted infrastructure and operational standards. The European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance (AGN) of 1996 is due to complete the range of international instruments dealing with the development of transport infrastructure.

1.      Declaration on the Construction of Main International Traffic Arteries, of 16 September 1950

2.      European Agreement on Main International Traffic Arteries (AGR), of 15 November 1975

3.      European Agreement on Main International Railway Lines (AGC), of 31 May 1985

4.      European Agreement on Important International Combined Transport Lines and Related Installations (AGTC), of 1 February 1991

5.      Protocol on Combined Transport on Inland Waterways to the European Agreement on Important International Combined Transport Lines and Related Installations (AGTC) of 1991, of 17 January 1997

6.      European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance (AGN), of 19 January 1996

Road Traffic and Road Signs and Signals

The UNECE drew up the worldwide Conventions on Road Traffic and on Road Signs and Signals of 1968 and the European Agreements supplementing them.

7.      Convention on Road Traffic, of 19 September 1949

8.      Convention on Road Traffic, of 8 November 1968

9.      Protocol on Road Signs and Signals, of 19 September 1949

10.    Convention on Road Signs and Signals, of 8 November 1968

11.    European Agreement supplementing the Convention on Road Traffic (1968), of 1 May 1971

12.    European Agreement supplementing the Convention on Road Signs and Signals (1968), of 1 May 1971

13.    European Agreement on the Application of Article 23 of the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic concerning the Dimensions and Weights of Vehicles Permitted to Travel on Certain Roads of the Contracting Parties, of 16 September 1950

14.    European Agreement supplementing the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic and the 1949 Protocol on Road Signs and Signals, of 16 September 1950

15.    European Agreement on Road Markings, of 13 December 1957

16.    Protocol on Road Markings, Additional to the European Agreement supplementing the Convention on Road Signs and Signals, of 1 March 1973

17.    Agreement on Minimum Requirements for the Issue and Validity of Driving Permits (APC), of 1 April 1975

In addition to the above-mentioned instruments, two new documents are now available:

  • Consolidated Resolution on Road Traffic (R.E.1) which is aimed at supplementing the Convention on Road Traffic, 1968 and the European Agreement of 1971.  It addresses subjects not covered therein, or in any detail, and supplements some provisions with the aim of highlighting best practices in road safety intervention.
  • Consolidated Resolution on Road Signs and Signals (R.E.2).  It reviews this fundamental area and makes provisions for road signs and signals that are in line with the requirements of ever growing motorization.
Motor Vehicles and their Trailers

The Agreement Concerning the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which can be fitted and/or be used on Wheeled Vehicles and the Conditions for Reciprocal Recognition of Approvals Granted on the Basis of these Prescriptions, concluded on 20 March 1958 (see item 18 below), in short, the 1958 Agreement, establishes the uniform requirements to which nearly every component of road-using vehicles should conform. 132 Regulations have been annexed to the Agreement since its entry info force in 1959 (see list of Vehicle Regulations), two more Regulations entered into force in July 2014, raising the total number of Regulations to 134. Furthermore, two new Regulations were adopted in November 2014 and are expected to enter into force in the middle of 2015. These Regulations provide for equal safety requirements and set environmental protection and energy saving criteria for Governments and vehicle manufactures in the territories of 51 Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement, including 41 UNECE countries, as well as the European Union, Japan, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Tunisia and Egypt.

The Agreement concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which can be fitted and/or be used on Wheeled Vehicles, concluded on 13 November 1998, in short, the 1998 Agreement, (see item 20 below) provides Governments with a legal framework and procedures for the adoption of global technical regulations (gtrs) applicable to road vehicles, their equipments and parts, with a view to the improvement of their safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and anti‑theft performance.  The Agreement is intended to have parallel technical provisions to those of the 1958 Agreement.  To date, Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, European Union are Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement, which entered into force on 25 August 2000. Sixteen Global Technical Regulations have been included in the Global Registry (see list of gtrs).

The Agreement concerning the Adoption of Uniform Conditions for Periodical Technical Inspections of Wheeled Vehicles and the Reciprocal Recognition of such Inspections, concluded on 13 November 1997, in short the 1997 Agreement, (see item 19 below) provides the legal framework and procedures for the adoption of uniform rules for carrying out technical inspections of vehicles in use and for the reciprocal recognition of the certificates of such inspections. Twelve countries are Parties to the 1997 Agreement, which entered into force on 27 January 2001. Seventeen countries are signatories pending ratification. Two Rules have been annexed to the Agreement (see list of Rules).

18.    Agreement Concerning the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which can be fitted and/or be used on Wheeled Vehicles and the Conditions for Reciprocal Recognition of Approvals Granted on the Basis of these Prescriptions, of 20 March 1958

19.    Agreement Concerning the Adoption of Uniform Conditions for Periodical Technical Inspections of Wheeled Vehicles and the Reciprocal Recognition of such Inspections, of 13 November 1997

20.    Agreement Concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which can be fitted and/or be used on Wheeled Vehicles, of 25 June 1998

         In addition to the above-mentioned instruments, the three following resolutions supplement them:

  • Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles (R.E.3)
  • Special Resolution No. 1 (S.R.1) concerning the common definitions of vehicle categories, masses and dimensions
  • Mutual Resolution No. 1 (M.R.1) of the 1958 and 1998 Agreements
Other Legal Instruments related to Road Transport

(a)    Working Conditions

21.    European Agreement concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles engaged in International Road Transport (AETR), of 1 July 1970

(b)    Taxation

22.    Convention on the Taxation of Road Vehicles for Private Use in International Traffic, of 18 May 1956

23.    Convention on the Taxation of Road Vehicles engaged in International Passenger Transport, of 14 December 1956

24.    Convention on the Taxation of Road Vehicles engaged in International Goods Transport, of 14 December 1956

(c)     Private Law

25.    Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), of 19 May 1956

26.    Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), of 5 July 1978

27.    Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (e-CMR), of 20 February 2008

28.    Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Road (CVR), of 1 March 1973

29.    Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Road (CVR), of 5 July 1978

(d)    Economic Regulations

30.    General Agreement on Economic Regulations for International Road Transport, of 17 March 1954

Inland Navigation

31.    Convention relating to the Unification of Certain Rules concerning Collisions in Inland Navigation, of 15 March 1960

32.    Convention on the Registration of Inland Navigation Vessels, of 25 January 1965

33.    Convention on the Measurement of Inland Navigation Vessels, of 15 February 1966

34.    Convention relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Inland Navigation Vessels (CLN), of 1 March 1973

35.    Protocol to the Convention relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Inland Navigation Vessels (CLN), of 5 July 1978

36.    Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Inland Waterway (CVN), of 6 February 1976

37.    Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Inland Waterway (CVN), of 5 July 1978

         In addition to the above-mentioned instruments establishing legal norms, there exist also a number of well-established recommendations in the field of inland navigation.  These are, in particular:

  • European Code for Inland Waterways (CEVNI) and Signs and Signals on Inland Waterways (SIGNI) containing rules of the road and signs and signals on inland waterways;
  • Recommendations on Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation Vessels.  The Recommendations lay down detailed requirements relating to the construction, inspection and issuance of certificates to inland navigation vessels;
  • Resolution No. 40 on International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft.  The Resolution prescribes minimum requirements for examination and certification of pleasure navigation craft operators with a view to providing them with international certificates of competence recognized in UNECE member countries other than their own.

The above documents are used by UNECE member Governments for the development of their national legislation on relevant questions.

Border Crossing Facilitation

One of the UNECE's most valuable contributions to the rapid international movement of goods is the TIR Convention. Under the TIR system no frontier checks of the goods transported are made between the Customs offices of departure and arrival. Originally drawn up for European road transport, the TIR Convention has been adopted by many countries in other continents, most notably in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

38.    Convention concerning Customs Facilities for Touring, signed in New York on 4 June 1954

39.    Additional Protocol to the Convention concerning Customs Facilities for Touring, relating to the importation of tourist publicity documents and material, signed in New York on 4 June 1954

40.    Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation of Private Road Vehicles, signed in New York on 4 June 1954

41.    Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention), of 15 January 1959

42.    Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention), of 14 November 1975

43.    Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation for Private Use of Aircraft and Pleasure Boats, of 18 May 1956

44.    Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation of Commercial Road Vehicles, of 18 May 1956

45.    International Convention to Facilitate the Crossing of Frontiers for Passengers and Baggage carried by Rail, of 10 January 1952

46.    International Convention to Facilitate the Crossing of Frontiers for Goods Carried by Rail, of 10 January 1952

47.    Customs Convention concerning Spare Parts Used for Repairing Europ Wagons, of 15 January 1958

48.    Customs Convention on Containers, of 18 May 1956

49.    Customs Convention on Containers, of 2 December 1972

50.    European Convention on Customs Treatment of Pallets Used in International Transport, of 9 December 1960

51.    International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods, 21 October 1982

52.    Convention on Customs Treatment of Pool Containers Used in International Transport, 21 January 1994

Transport of Dangerous Goods

Recommendations covering the transport of dangerous goods, including hazardous wastes and substances, are issued and regularly revised by the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods of the United Nations Economic and Social Council which has its secretariat in the UNECE. These recommendations serve as the basis for many national regulations as well as for international instruments covering the transport of dangerous goods by sea, air, rail, road and inland waterways all over the world.  Amongst these, those listed below have also been developed and are regularly updated by the UNECE.

53.     European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), of 30 September 1957

54.     Protocol amending article 1 (a), article 14 (1) and article 14 (3) (b) of the European Agreement of 30 September 1957 concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), of 28 October 1993

55.     Convention on Civil Liability for Damage caused during Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Inland Navigation Vessels (CRTD), of 10 October 1989

56.     European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterway (ADN), of 25 May 2000

Transport of Perishable Foodstuffs

57.    Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be Used for such Carriage (ATP), of 1 September 1970

Website:  http://www.unece.org/trans/conventn/legalinst.html

As of 29 December 2014