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15 October 2009

Protocol on Combined Transport on Inland Waterways to the AGTC Agreement enters into force on 29 October 2009
On 12 August 2009, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs issued Depositary Notification C.N.502.2009.TREATIES-2 indicating that, with the accession of Serbia to the Protocol on 31 July 2009, the conditions for the entry into force of the Protocol were met.
Accordingly the Protocol to the AGTC Agreement will enter into force on 29 October 2009, in accordance with its article 9(1).
This Inland Water Protocol to the AGTC Agreement has been ratified so far by: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and Switzerland.
The following countries have signed the Protocol, but have not yet ratified it: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Slovakia.

The objective of the Protocol is to make international intermodal transport on inland waterways and certain coastal routes in Europe more efficient and attractive to customers. It establishes a legal framework that lays down a coordinated plan for the development of intermodal transport services on pan-European inland waterways and coastal routes and of the infrastructure necessary for their operation, based on internationally agreed performance parameters and standards.
The Protocol establishes a list of waterways and transshipment terminals important for regular international combined and intermodal transport in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Serbia, Switzerland and Ukraine. The Protocol also stipulates technical and operational minimum requirements of European inland waterways and terminals in ports as a basis for competitive container and ro-ro transport services by inland water vessels.

The UNECE Working Party on Intermodal Transport and Logistics (WP.24), responsible for the administration of the Protocol, decided at its 52. session (12-13 October 2009) that amendment proposals to the provisions of the Protocol already submitted by Austria, Bulgaria, France, Hungary and Romania will be considered at its forthcoming session (Geneva, 16-17 March 2010).

Text of the Protocol (English, French, Russian): http://www.unece.org/trans/wp24/Protocol_text.html

Legal status: http://www.unece.org/trans/conventn/legalinst_05_TINF_PAGTC.html

Depositary notifications: http://www.unece.org/trans/wp24/depnot_protocol.html

Amendment proposals: http://www.unece.org/trans/wp24/wp24-official-docs/24docs-12.html