A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 7 December in Paris between the UIC, which promotes railways and the collaborative development of the rail system worldwide, and the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), which works to create a harmonised body of railway law linking Europe, Asia and Africa.
UIC maintains close collaborative links with all the world’s rail-sector stakeholders, specifically other railway organisations, public authorities, manufacturers, as well as other non-railway stakeholders whose work can positively impact railway development.
OTIF’s mandate is to foster, improve, and facilitate international carriage by rail. In pursuit of this task, it publishes harmonised rules in the shape of the Convention on International Carriage by Rail (COTIF). UIC and OTIF are the world’s oldest international railway organisations.
UIC is a rail-sector body represented at the highest institutional level, and has held consultant status to the UN since 1949.
In its capacity as an intergovernmental body, OTIF has been a major player in the field of railway law since 1893, both at European level (the EU acceded to the COTIF in 2011) and internationally. OTIF works closely with organisations such as the UN, specifically on the Regulation governing the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods (RID).
The two organisations strive to facilitate the international carriage of passenger and freight traffic by rail, and to ensure effective harmonisation within the rail sector.
OTIF and UIC have worked closely together for many decades, and have often joined forces to foster interoperability and seamless international operations across rail networks.
In this context, UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and OTIF Secretary-General François Davenne saw the need to officially enshrine the two bodies’ cooperative links, with the intention that these links offer still greater added value for railways in the future.
The goals shared by UIC and OTIF include consolidating the mutual benefits of their collaboration, acting together to benefit and promote carriage by rail, and fostering synergies.
The UIC Director-General and OTIF Secretary-General welcome the signing of this agreement.