Rail Professional International Organisations
The most important rail professional organisations to which the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a member are:
International Transport Committee by Railway/Comite Internationale du Transport Ferroviaire (CIT)
CIT (composed of 130 full members and 80 members via 6 sectoral
associations) is an international center for technical knowhow which provides
legal knowledge and in some specific fields it supplies technical expertise for
railway undertakings active in the field of providing border crossing services
for freight and passengers.
CIT was established as a non-profit association by the
railway undertakings to act as a tool for practical implementation of COTIF
framework at the commercial level. All the European and non-European railway
undertakings which are active in the field of international traffic are CIT
CIT is considered as a platform for developing trade-oriented
products and finding solutions among the members for freight and passenger
traffic. Furthermore, this organization offers training courses on all the
legal issues related to border crossing rail traffic for the members and experts.
By becoming CIT member, international railway
undertakings regularly get notified on all the main developments in the field
of transportation law (CIT information, e.g. new regulations and court
decisions) which have direct impact on international freight and passenger rail
CIT was founded in 1901. The Railways of the
Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI) has been a member of this committee since 1971 and
owns various instructions as technical documents for cross border freight
traffic especially instructions on consignment note and wagon note. Compared to
nonmembers, CIT members could use CIM consignment notes for free which saves 10
Euros on each consignment note.
Moreover, CIT members could utilize the legal and
practical features of electronic CIM consignment note as an international
CIT could also provide its members with standard
solutions and technical knowhow in the fields of legal interoperability of
CIM/SMGS common consignment notes to facilitate cross border freight traffic
among the countries that utilize CIM and SMGS regimes.
Utilizing CIM/SMGS common consignment notes could save 40
minutes per wagon, 8-10 hours per train and approximately 40 Euros per consignment
note. This legal standard is used for corridors in Europe and Asia.
The Council for Rail Transport of CIS States/ Совет по железнодорожному транспорту (CRT)
This led to the establishment of Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) which are mostly located in Central and north Asia.
One of the issues that the leaders of the countries
encountered during that time was investigating and regulating the
transportation system and in fact railways was a symbol of solidarity and coordination.
Consequently considering the necessity and importance of coordination
in organizing transportation in the mentioned countries, solving and organizing
activities and the issues related to rail transportation, Council for Rail Transport
of Community of Independent States (CRT CIS) was established on 14 Feb. 1992.
The Council for Rail Transport is composed of CIS
countries including the Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Furthermore, Lithuania and Estonia cooperate with the council based on a
separate contract. Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Finland are also affiliate
members. RAI obtained the Act of parliament and in 2013 became an observing
member and in 2019 its membership changed from observer to affiliate.
with transport sections of the following international and regional
United Nations Economic Commission for
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is
one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations established in 1947.
This commission includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia.
UNECE is mostly active in the fields of economic cooperation,
environment, forests, population, housing and land, sustainable energy, trade, statistics,
and transportation. The transportation division is active in the fields of rail,
road, inland water, and intermodal transportation, dangerous goods
transportation and Euro-Asian links.
One the main plans of the Transportation Division is to
provide an international convention for rail transport under the title “Unified
Rail Law (URL)”.
Concerning the fact that currently rail transportation follows
different legal regimes in various parts of the world and there exists no unified
law for rail transportation such as those of road transportation (TIR
Convention), sea transportation (Hague Convention) and air transportation (Warsaw
Convention), freight transportation is done by utilizing various consignment
notes such as SMGS for CIS countries, CIM for Turkey and Europe and CIM/SMGS
common consignment note for freight transportation between Europe and Asia. Therefore, Inland Transport
Committee (ITC) of UNECE intends to eliminate the deficiencies of using
national or multiple legal regimes for rail transportation through devising a
unified rail law and ratifying it at international level and utilizing a
unified consignment note and international legal regime. Since international
corridors cross Iran and Iran uses different legal regimes in rail
transportation (SMGS Agreement for CIS countries, Russia and China and COTIF
Convention for Turkey and Europe), RAI has been invited to cooperate with
Inland Transport Committee of UNECE to prepare the “Unified Rail Law”.
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
Brief introduction on Economic Cooperation Organization
(ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by
Iran, Turkey and Pakistan for the purpose of promoting economic, technical, and
cultural cooperation. ECO is the successor organization of Regional Cooperation
for Development (RCD) which remained in existence during the years 1964 -1979
and later its name changed into ECO.
By collapse of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan and the
newly independent countries which were looking for a way to the world outside
became members of this organization in 1992. Thus ECO developed into a regional
organization composed of ten countries of Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan.
United Nation Economic Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP)
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for
Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the largest United Nations body out of the five
United Nation commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic
and Social Council.
It was established on 28 March 1947 in Shanghai, China,
as the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) to assist in post-war
economic reconstruction. On 16 Jan. 1970 the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) moved its headquarters to Bangkok and
in 1974 the name was changed into ESCAP to reflect both the economic and social
aspects of development and the geographic location of its member countries.
Currently ESCAP is composed of 53 Member states (active)
and 9 Associate Members (passive) and the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of
its active members; On 10 July, 1958 the Islamic Republic of Iran became a
member of the mentioned commission.
ESCAP main fields of activity include: Information and
Communications Technology (ICT), decreasing the risk of natural disasters, environment
and development, social development, macroeconomic policy and financing
development, trade, investment and innovation, transportation and energy.
The main issues which are considered in ESCAP Transportation
Division include: the Asian Highway (AH), Trans-Asian Railway (TAR), dry ports
and multi- modal transport, rail border crossing facilitation, smart
transportation systems, financing and cooperation of the private sector.
RAI has close cooperation with ESCAP in issues related to
rail transportation including Trans-Asian Railway (TAR), dry ports, border
crossing facilitation, and rail corridors.
Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) agreement includes
117500 km rail lines in 28 states in Asia and intends to link the Asian
countries. TAR was signed by 18 member states (from among 28) including the
Islamic Republic of Iran in Transportation Ministers Conference held in Busan
(South Korea) on 10 Nov. 2006 and it came to force on 11 June, 2009. Currently 22
states have signed this agreement. This network consists of 4 corridors, two of
which cross Iran (i.e. North-South Corridor and South Asian Corridor).