9 Sep 2021


In addition, the CIT and its members are examining additional possibilities for using the cim/SMGS joint waybed for multimodal transport (sea rail), mainly on the Baltic and Black Seas. Thus, rail and maritime transport needs increasing political and legal attention, given that end-to-end rail freight transport, with a single land and sea transport contract, has essential hinterland potential to connect ports to the main centres of production and consumption in Europe, Russia and China. As a result, the manual has been amended to reflect the particularities of maritime transport and to allow the use of the cim/SMGS common consignment note for multimodal transport. Thus, the joint CIM/SMGS consignment note and its electronic version are bridging the gap between the different legal systems of the CIM and SMGS Member States, which remove language and border barriers. Each cim/SMGS joint consignment note shall be followed by a contractual link between the parties to the CIM procedure or the SMGS procedure: between the consignor of the goods, the carrier and the consignee. In this way, the joint CIM/SMGS wayb note offers greater legal certainty in several respects: U.D.P. 1951 – Study XXXI – Freight transport by rail – Doc. 1 1 of 9 May 1980, in the form of protocol 1999 2. From 1 November 1951 with the latest amendments of 1 July 2015 3.

www.cit-rail.org/en/freight-traffic/contractual-documents east-west and west-east rail freight has to cross an invisible legal boundary due to the existence of two different legal systems. Europe applies the uniform CIM Rules1 of COTIF (Convention on International Carriage by Rail), while Russia, China and other Asian countries apply the Agreement on International Rail Freight2 (SMGS). The existence of this dual legal regime creates legal uncertainty and interruption in the carriage of goods, resulting in delays, additional costs and administrative burdens for rail freight undertakings. Until 2006, all rail freight shipments between Europe and Asia were redeployed during the transition from CIM to SMGS. This return took time and resulted in additional costs with no added value and partly led to the introduction of false data into documents. During the second phase of the project, a new standardized damage management procedure was designed and included in the Common CIM/SMGS Consignment Note manual. It allows for a standard procedure for processing requests for formal notifications. At the same time, the CIT has launched activities to develop uniform rules of liability for CIM/SMGS transports, which could be applied on a contractual basis since 1 January 20193 as EurAsia General Terms and Conditions of Sale. So far, it has served primarily as a source of information for customers, carriers and customs authorities related to the CIM/SMGS joint consignment note and should then be put into practice.

The creation of harmonised international legislation on rail freight is the declared long-term legal and policy objective for the next 10-15 years. The CIT has accomplished much in its 115 years, but more can be done to ensure fast and reliable global rail transport on the land bridge between Europe and Asia, with clearly consistent rights and obligations for the parties to the contract of carriage. . . .

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