Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Berne, Switzerland
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 01/05/1985

Category

Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Rail transport

Groups

OTIF

What is it about?

The 1980 Convention constitutes the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) with the mission to establish a uniform system of law applicable to the carriage of passengers, luggage and goods in international through traffic by rail between Member States and to facilitate the system’s application and development. The provided rules contained in appendices form an integral part of the Convention. The Appendices regulate contracts and liability issues. Appendix A on “Uniform Rules concerning Contracts for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (CIV)” deals with the publication of schedules, titles of transport, reductions for specific groups of travellers, personal items of travellers acceptable for carriage and liability in cases of delay. Appendix B on “Uniform Rules concerning Contracts for International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM)” applies to articles acceptable for carriage, tariffs and transport agreements. In 2003, the Organization headquartered in Berne, Switzerland, had 42 Member States. It consists of a General Assembly, an Administrative Committee, a Revision Committee, a Committee of Experts for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and a Central Office for International Carriage by Rail (OCTI).

Why is it relevant?

Uniform rules concerning international carriage of passengers and goods by rail allow to reduce costs and to determine the rights and obligations of carriers, consigners and travelers. Member States to the 1980 Convention may participate in the working sessions of the OTIF and contribute to the drawing of uniform rules.

Additional Information

The expenditure of the Organization is financed by the Member States in proportion to the length of the lines listed. The 1980 Convention concerning international carriage by rail has been modified by the Berne Protocol of Amendment to this Convention (Berne, 20 December 1990) and by the Vilnius Protocol of Amendment to this Convention (Vilnius, 03 June1999) in order to adapt the provisions of the present instrument to new needs within its scope of application.

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