JSC Russian Railways and international railway оrganizations
The International Committee of Railway Transport - CIT, Le Comité international des transports ferroviaires - is an international non-governmental organisation and association whose objectives are to:
- develop International law in the field of rail transportation on the basis of concluded conventions;
- develop additional legal articles and materials regarding the resolution of disputes in international transport;
- monitor compliance with the Rules for the Carriage of Goods, Luggage and Passengers;
- standardise travel documents.
The CIT was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in the Swiss capital Bern.
Its official languages are French and German.
The CIT has 134 companies from 43 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa as full members.
Companies are eligible to become CIT full members if they carry out international rail transportation in accordance with the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail - COTIF.
The Committee cooperates primarily with OTIF, UIC, the Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, OSJD and other international organisations.
CIT's main goals are the:
- harmonisation, uniform application and implementation of international rail transport law, primarily COTIF;
- development of the Rules for the Carriage of Goods and Forms of Waybills, as well as of the appendices to COTIF;
- standardisation of legal relations between participants on the railway transportation market (customers, railway enterprises and infrastructure owners).
The CIT's governing body is the General Assembly, which defines the policy of, and approach to CIT's strategic management.
CIT's President is Jean-Luc Dufournaud, who was formerly the Director of Legal Affairs at SNCF, France's national state-owned railway company.
Cesare Brand is the CIT's Secretary General.
On 1 February 2010, the Russian Federation joined COTIF on the terms and conditions of compliance with the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract of International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM) on sections of railway infrastructure from the berth of the Baltysk ferry complex to the Baltysk port railway station on Kaliningrad Railways (2.84 km) and from the berth of the Ust-Luga ferry complex to Luga port Railway Station at October Railways (1,745 km).
In 2015, a section of the railway infrastructure near the port of Kavkaz in the Russian Federation acceded to COTIF, which will facilitate the more active development of the rail-ferry link with Turkey on the Kavkaz - Samsun line.
After passing all domestic procedures, the COTIF standards and the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract of International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM), which is an Appendix to COTIF, became part of the Russian legal system. As a result, it became necessary to use the norms and documents used in the field of action covered by CIM.
In order to use these documents most effectively to document the transportation of goods using the Ust-Luga – Baltiysk – Sassnitz railway-ferry link, the President of OJSC Russian Railways decided that OJSC Russian Railways should become a member of the CIT.
In addition, Russian Railways is one of the main developers of the regulatory framework for the use of the unified CIM/SMGS consignment note developed in the framework of the OSJD and CIT joint project, Transport-Legal Interoperability CIM/SMGS.
OJSC Russian Railways has been considered a full member of CIT since 1 May 2010 and has the right to use all CIT guidelines governing the application of international rail transport law in the field of COTIF, as well as the ability practically to use the current CIM standards.
In the programme of CIT's activities, the development of close cooperation with Russian Railways is one of the main directions.
During the meeting of the CIT General Assembly in 2011, OJSC Russian Railways was formally accepted onto the CIM Commission, which is one of the CIT's working bodies.
Priority projects include:
- the development of transport operations using the unified railway CIM/SMGS consignment note, including transit on Russian railways between China and Mongolia;
- the organisation of transportation using the Ust-Luga – Baltiysk –Sassnitz rail-ferry link, as well as consideration of the possibility of carrying out shipments on the CIM consignment note on the railway ferry service between the ports of Kavkaz and Samsun in Turkey. To implement this project, a Multimodal Working Group has been created within the framework of the CIT. Taking part in the working group are experts from Russian Railways, Deutsche Bahn Schenker, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and shipping companies;
- cooperation in the field of international passenger communications with regard to the harmonisation of the standards of the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract of International Carriage of Passengers by Rail (CIV) and the Agreement on International Passenger Traffic.
These areas of cooperation are of practical importance for OJSC Russian Railways in connection with the active integration into the international transport market and the development of a number of international projects.
These include the harmonisation of transport law, the development of international rail and ferry services and international passenger transportation, as well as establishing cooperation with railway carriers operating in the field of Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM) and CIV.