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II.5.250 (COTIF, 1980) CONVENTION CONCERNING INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT BY RAIL, 1980

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.5.250

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CONCERNING THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT BY RAIL (COTIF), 1980

ADOPTED: Done at Berne, 9 May 1980
REFERENCE: COTIF, 1980
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 1 May 1985
DEPOSITARY: Swiss Government
SECRETARY: Swiss Foreign Office

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION

Article XXII

1. The Convention shall remain open at Berne, with the Swiss Government, until 31 December 1980, for signature by the States which have been invited to the 8th Ordinary Revision Conference for the CIM and CIV Conventions.

2. The Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval; instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Swiss Government, the depositary Government.

Article XXIII

1. Those States which have been invited to the 8th Ordinary Revision Conference for the CIM and CIV Conventions but have not signed the new Convention within the period specified in Article XXII, paragraph 1, may nevertheless signify their accession to the Convention before it comes into force. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the Depositary Government.

2. Any State wishing to accede to this Convention after it comes into force shall address its application to the Depositary Government together with a note on the situation of its rail transport undertakings from the standpoint of international traffic. The Depositary Government shall communicate them to the Member States and to the Central Office.

The application shall be deemed to be accepted six months after the aforesaid communication, unless five Member States lodge objections with the Depositary Government. The Depositary Government shall inform the applicant State as well as the Member States and the Central Office accordingly. The new Member State shall comply with the provisions of Article X without delay.

In the event of an objection, the Depositary Government shall submit the application for accession to the General Assembly for decision.

Following the deposit of the instrument of accession, this shall take effect on the first day of the second month following the month during which the Central Office has notified the Member States of the list of lines and services of the new Member State.

3. Any accession to the Convention may only relate to the Convention and amendments in force at that time.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XXIV

1. When the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession have been deposited by fifteen States, the Depositary Government shall contact the Governments concerned with a view to reaching agreement on the entry into force of the Convention.

2. The entry into force of the Convention shall have the effect of abrogating the International Conventions concerning the Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM) and the Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (CIV) of 7 February 1970 as well as the Additional Convention of the CIV relating to the Liability of the Railway for Death and Personal Injury to Passengers of 26 February 1966.

DENUNCIATION

Article XXV

Any State which wishes to denounce the Convention shall inform the Depositary Government. The denunciation shall take effect on 31 December of the following year.

RESERVATIONS

Article XXVII

Reservations to the Convention may only be made if there is provision for them in the Convention.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION

Article XIX

1. Member States shall send their proposals for amending the Convention to the Central Office, which shall immediately bring them to the notice of the other Member States.

2. The General Assembly shall take decisions on proposals to amend provisions of the Convention not referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4.

The inclusions of a proposal for an amendment on the agenda for a session of the General Assembly must be supported by one-third of the Member States.

When seised of a proposal for an amendment the General Assembly may decide, by the majority required under Article VI, paragraph 5, that such proposal is closely linked with one or more provisions the amendment of which is within the competence of the Revision Committee in accordance with paragraph 3. In that case the General Assembly is also empowered to take decisions on the amendment of such provision or provisions.

3. Subject to decisions taken by the General Assembly in accordance with paragraph 2, subparagraph 3, the Revision Committee shall take decisions on proposals to amend the provisions list:

  • (a) CIV Uniform Rules:
    • — Articles 1, paragraph 3, 4, paragraph 3; 5 (except paragraph 2), 6, 9 to 14, 15 (except paragraph 6), 16 to 21, 22, paragraph 3; 23 to 25, 37, 43 (except paragraph 2 and paragraph 4), 48, 49, 56 to 58 and 61;
    • — the amounts expressed in units of account in Articles 30, 31, 38, 40 and 41, where the purpose of the amendment is to increase those amounts;
  • (b) CIM Uniform Rules:
    • — Articles 1, paragraph 2; 3 paragraphs 2 to 5; 4, 5, 6 (except paragraph 3), 7, 8, 11 to 13, 14 (except paragraph 7), 15 to 17, 19 (except paragraph 4), 20 (except paragraph 3), 21 to 24, 25 (except paragraph 3), 26 (except paragraph 2), 27, 28 paragraphs 3 and 6; 29, 30 (except paragraph 3), 31, 32 (except paragraph 3) 33 (except paragraph 5), 34, 38, 39, 41, 45, 46, 47 (except paragraph 3), 48 ( only in so far as it is a question of adaptation to international maritime transport law), 52, 53, 59 to 61, 64 and 65;
    • — amounts expressed in units of account in Article 40, where the purpose of the amendment is to increase that amount;
    • — Regulations concerning the International Haulage of Private Owner’s Wagons by Rail (RIP), Annex II;
    • — Regulations concerning International Carriage of Containers by Rail (RICO), Annex III;
    • — Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Express Parcels by Rail (RIEX), Annex IV.

4. The Committee of Experts shall take decisions on proposals to amend the provisions of the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID), Annex I to the CIM Uniform Rules.

Article XX

1. Amendments decided upon by the General Assembly shall be recorded in a Protocol signed by the representatives of the Member States. The Protocol shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval; instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited as soon as possible with the depositary Government.

2. When the Protocol has been ratified, accepted or approved by more than two-thirds of the Member States, the decisions shall come into force on the expiry of a period of time determined by the General Assembly.

3. As soon as the decisions enter into force, the application of the CIV and CIM Uniform Rules shall be suspended in respect of traffic with and between those Member States which, one month before the date fixed for such entry into force, have not yet deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval. Such suspension shall be notified to Member States by the Central Office; it shall end one month after the date of notification by the Central Office of the ratification, acceptance or approval of the said decisions by the States concerned.

Such suspension shall not apply to Member States which notify the Central Office that, without having deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval, they will apply the amendments decided upon by the General Assembly.

Article XXI

1. Amendments decided upon by the Committees shall be notified to the Member States by the Central Office.

2. Such decisions shall come into force for all Member States on the first day of the twelfth month in which the Central Office notifies them to the Member States, unless one-third of the Member States have objected within four months from the date of such notification.

However, if a Member State lodges objections to a decision of the Revision Committee within the period of four months and denounces the Convention not later than two months before the date fixed for the entry into force of that decision, the latter shall only come into force at the time when the denunciation by the State concerned takes effect.

RESERVATIONS AND DECLARATIONS (IML Translations)

Albania

1. The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania declares that for a dispute to be referred to Arbitration, the agreement of all parties concerned is necessary in each particular case.

2. The Railway lines of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania are only open to the international traffic of goods.

3. The adherence of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania will be effective after the linking of the Albanian railway network with the international network.

Austria

The Republic of Austria reserves the right, conforming to article III, paragraph 1 of Appendix A to the Convention, not to apply the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in case of death or personal injury to passengers, when the accident occurs on its territory and when such passengers are Austrian nationals or have their usual place of residence in Austria.

Bulgaria

Same reservations as the German Democratic Republic

Czechoslovakia

Same reservations as the German Democratic Republic.

Reservations made upon signature:

In accordance with article XII, paragraph 3 of the Convention concerning international carriage by rail (COTIF), adopted on 9 May 1980 in Bern, the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia will not apply article XII, paragraph 1 and conforming to article III, paragraph 1 of Appendix A, CIV Uniform Rules, it will not apply to passengers victim of accidents occurred on its territory the whole of the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in case of death and personal injury of passengers when such passengers are nationals of the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia or persons having their permanent place of residence in the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia.

Denmark

Same reservation as Austria.

Finland

Same reservation as Austria.

German Democratic Republic

In accordance with article XII, paragraph 3 of the Convention, the German Democratic Republic declares that it does not consider itself bound by article XII, paragraph 1 of the Convention, according to which any dispute between States Parties can be submitted to an arbitral tribunal.

The German Democratic Republic reserves the right according to article III, paragraph 1 of Appendix A to the Convention, not to apply the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in case of death or personal injury of passengers when the accident should occur on its territory and such passenger is a German Democratic Republic national or has his usual place of residence in the German Democratic Republic.

Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right, in accordance with article III, paragraph 1 of Appendix A to the Convention, not to apply the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in case of death or personal injury to passengers when the accident occurs on its territory and such passengers are Iran nationals or have their usual place of residence in Iran.

Iraq

Same reservations as German Democratic Republic.

Latvia

In accordance with Article 3 of Appendix A to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) of 1980, the Republic of Latvia reserves the right not to apply to passengers involved in accidents occurring in the territory of the Republic of Latvia the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in case of death of or personal injury to passengers, when such passengers are nationals of or have their usual place of residence in the Republic of Latvia.

Poland

The People’s Republic of Poland declares, in accordance with article III, paragraph 1 of Appendix A to the Convention, that it will not apply the whole of the provisions relating to the liability of the railway in case of death and personal injury of passengers, when the accident should occur on its territory and such passengers are Polish nationals or have their usual place of residence in Poland.

Portugal

1. In accordance with article XII, paragraph 3 of the COTIF, reference to arbitration will not be admitted to solve disputes arising from the application of the CIV Uniform Rules and the CIM Uniform Rules, according to paragraph 2 of the same article.

2. In accordance with article III, paragraph 1 of the CIV Uniform Rules, the whole of the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in the event of death or personal injury to passengers will not be applicable in case of accidents occurring on Portuguese territory, when such passengers are nationals or have their usual place of residence in Portugal.

Romania

Same reservations as the German Democratic Republic.

also:

Making the reservation provided by article XII, paragraph 3 of the COTIF and the reservation provided by article III, paragraph 1 of the CIV Uniform Rules.

Sweden

Same reservation as Austria.

Ukraine

In depositing its instrument of accession, the Ukraine made a reservation not to apply the provisions of Article 12 §§ 1 and 2 of COTIF 1980. In addition, the Ukraine also made a reservation in accordance with Article 3 § 1 of Appendix A to COTIF 1980 not to apply the whole of the provisions concerning the liability of the railway in case of death of or personal injury to passengers, when the accident has occurred in the territory of the Ukraine and the passenger is a national of or has his usual place of residence in the Ukraine.

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