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12 December 2011

New Markings: Identification of Intermodal Loading Units in Europe (ILU-Code)

As of July 2019, after an eight-year transition period that started in July 2011, every loading unit will have to be fitted with the new codification plate: the ILU-Code (Intermodal Loading Units). The ILU-Code, which is administered by the International Union of Combined Road-Rail transport Companies (UIRR), is based on European Standard EN 13044-1, and is an owner-code for the identification of European intermodal loading units (i.e. swap-bodies and semi trailers).

Because the current BIC-Code permits only the allocation of nearly 17,000 codes, this is not sufficient in case all European entities owning loading unites wanted to obtain the
code which enables owners of ISO-containers to effectively identify the ownership of more than 20 million freight containers in the world.

In the future, only one uniform type of owner codification of loading units will be applied: the worldwide BIC-Code for freight containers (ISO 6346) and the new ILUCode for European loading units fully compatible with the BIC-Code. The marking of every loading unit will include an owner key (allocated by UIRR or BIC), a registration number (allocated by the owner) and a check digit (given calculation procedure).

Among the many advantages of using the ILU-Code, is that every actor of the transport chain will be able at any time identify the owner of a loading unit given that the owner code is published. This will facilitate checks at the borders but also reinforce requirements in the fields of security and safety. As important, the correction costs for the data will be considerably reduced since the code is adapted to electronic data processing and reduces the number of data capture errors given that it is able to immediately spot up-to 95 per cent of the possible typing errors.

For more information please refer to UIRR.


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013