The Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) promotes, improves and facilitates international traffic by rail. The main areas of activities of OTIF are technical interoperability, dangerous goods and railway contract law. OTIF develops uniform legal regimes for the contracts of carriage of passengers and goods. 

The Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) is OTIF’s basic text.   COTIF contains seven appendices setting out technical, legal and contractual requirements to allow interoperability to be extended and improved between the countries which have ratified it. IMs will need to apply these rules in relation to international traffic.

EIM in action

  • EIM is an official negotiating party in OTIF’s revision committee; 
  • EIM participates in OTIF Working Groups;
  • EIM supports seeking clarity on the scope of application of COTIF;
  • EIM aims to safeguard the financial sustainability of IMs, especially concerning the indirect liability regime/recourse of the carrier models.

EIM actions in 2021

  • During 2021, the work of the ‘Working Group of Legal Experts’, which was founded in 2018, continued. The same goes for the ‘Ad Hoc Committee on Cooperation’. This latter Committee has the purpose to streamline OTIF’s cooperation with international organisations and associations. The WG of Legal Experts advised on different topics, such as the implementation of COTIF, the UNECE initiative on Unified Railway Law or the Interfaces between customs and transport regulations.

Outlook 2022

  • EIM will continue to participate in OTIF Working Groups and General Assemblies. 
  • EIM will continue to closely monitor the output of OTIF’s legal group of experts and will communicate any proposed change or revision of the rules to members.
  • OTIF will hold its 16th General Assembly during autumn in 2024. 

Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail

Strategic Vision