The International Rail Transport Committee , (Le Comité international des transports ferroviaires )- or CIT is an international non-governmental organization and association whose objectives are to:
- develop International law on rail transportation on the basis of existing conventions;
- to develop additional legal articles and materials regarding the resolution of disputes in international transport;
- to monitor compliance with the Rules for the Carriage of Goods, Luggage and Passengers;
- to standardize travel documents.
The CIT was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in the Swiss capital of Bern.
Its official languages are French and German.
The CIT counts 134 companies from 43 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa as full members.
Companies are eligible to become full members of the CIT if they carry out international rail transportation in accordance with the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail -(COTIF).
The Committee cooperates primarily with the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), the UIC, the Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the OSJD and other international organizations.
The CIT’s main goals are:
- to achieve the harmonization and uniform application and implementation of international rail transport law, primarily COTIF;
- to develop the Rules for the Carriage of Goods and Forms of Waybills, as well as the appendices to COTIF;
- to standardize legal relations among participants on the rail transportation market (customers, railway enterprises and infrastructure owners).
The CIT’s governing body is the General Assembly, which defines the strategic direction on the CIT.
Jean-Luc Dufournaud, serves as Chairman of the CIT. He previously worked as Director of Legal Affairs at SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company.
Cesare Brand serves as Secretary General.
On February 1, 2010, the Russian Federation joined COTIF on the terms and conditions of compliance with the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM) on sections of railway infrastructure from the Baltiysk ferry complex to the Baltiysk port railway station on Kaliningrad Railways (2.84 km) and from the Ust-Luga ferry complex to Luga port Railway Station operated by October Railways (1745 km).
In 2015, a section of the railway infrastructure near the Port 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 for International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM), which is an Appendix to COTIF, became part of Russian law. This meant that the the norms and documents covered by CIM -are to be used across the Russian Federation.
In order to effectively document the transportation of goods using the Ust-Luga – Baltiysk – Sassnitz rail-ferry link, the CEO of Russian Railways made the decision for the Company to accede to 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 as part of the CIT/OSJD Project: Legal Interoperability CIM/SMGS.
Russian Railways has been a full member of the CIT since May 1, 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 to use the current CIM standards in practice.
The CIT’s priorities include developing close cooperation with Russian Railways.
During the meeting of the CIT General Assembly in 2011, Russian Railways was formally accepted to 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 organization of transportation using the Ust-Luga – Baltiysk –Sassnitz rail-ferry link, as well as consideration of the possibility of carrying out shipments using the CIM consignment note on the rail- ferry service between Port Kavkaz in Russia and the port of Samsun in Turkey. A Multimodal Working Group has been created at the CIT to implement this project. The Working Group includes experts from Russian Railways, Deutsche Bahn Schenker, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and shipping companies;
- Cooperation in international passenger transpor with regard to harmonizing 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 Russian Railways in terms of its active integration into the international transport market and the development of a number of international projects.
These projects include the harmonization of transport law, the development of international rail and ferry services and international passenger transportation, and establishing cooperation with railway carriers that operate under the Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM) and the CIV.