The annual UIC Finance Platform took place on 4 June 2020. The vocation of the Finance Platform is to address cross-sector, financial matters on behalf of European active members, in particular:
- Repayment of revenue received from customers by the sales company to the companies involved in international passenger and freight transport operations (principles set out in IRS 30301, 30304)
- Monetary issues (conversion of currencies, loss of cashflow in connection with revenue accounting arrears, value of transactions on a given date) including matters relating to fraud (Leaflet 311)
- Evolution of standards in relation with the economic context or the liberalisation elements
- Taxation questions relating to railway transport within the European Union and the European geographical area
- Financial benchmarking of rail costs
- ODC activity (Office of Debt Clearance), follow up and negotiation of debts mainly ex-Yugoslav area
The Finance Platform consists mainly of the European Active members. It has over 50 members, six working groups and meets once a year.
During the annual meeting this year, which took place via a web-conference, the moderators of the Finance Platform groups had the opportunity to report on their work.
The meeting was chaired by Thierry Béra, UIC CFO in the absence of the President of the Platform. David Sitruk, SNCF, President of the Finance Platform had to step down due to a new job. A call for the FP Chair has been issued.
The meeting started with a welcome address by François Davenne, UIC Director General. He noted that during the recent difficult events related to pandemic UIC remained active and maintained platform and other meetings, thanks to the organised efforts and work of the staff. He also thanked the UIC members for their commitment. He further underlined the importance of Finance as a strategic area. One of UIC’s roles is a technical platform and a back office of the transport sector with Finance playing a significant role. He also presented the Technical Solutions for the Operational Railway published by UIC which will be presented at the next UIC GA on 30 June, where Finance also has its part.
Thierry Béra, UIC CFO, explained that the Terms of Reference, ToR, need to be updated and that the document will be sent to all members for further validation.
Further presentations included reports conducted by the moderators of the groups: PATRIC (audit passenger group) during which the speaker presented 2019 and 2020 audit campaigns, mentioning delay in the audits due to the pandemic. RCF 1 (Accounting and Financial Regulations – Passenger Working Party) who spoke about migration of leaflet 301 into IRS30301, as well as the scheduled migration of leaflet 361 into IRS together with the UIC passenger department, as well as objectives 2020/2021; RCF 2 (Accounting and Financial Regulations – Freight Working Party), noted the publication of IRS30304; RCF 3 (Financial relations between railways undertakings - Principles and terms of application) reported on the work of the group with ODC (Office of Debt Clearance) and necessity to migrate leaflet 311 into IRS; Finance Group Coordinator explained the actions 2020, revival and migration of leaflet 361 into IRS changes and publications of IRS; ODC (Office of Debt Clearance) went through the level of indebtedness, and work undertaken to contact the main debtors; Statistics group presented work of the group, new Railisa, key projects, programme and publications for 2020; Taxation group moderator went through the aims of the group and main topics discussed; Legal Group chair reported on the work of the group in 2019, MERITS Project, provisional programme 2020 and work on the evolution of the UIC Governance. Isabelle Fonverne was invited to present ILCAD, the Level Crossing programme at UIC and the events related to the project.