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CIM Committee endorses further enhancement of the CIT freight products

The 26th meeting of the CIM Committee took place on 23 March 2023 both at CIT office in Bern and online. Further enhancing the freight products to cater for ongoing digitalisation is a core task for the CIT General Secretariat. In approving the CIT Freight Manual (GTM-CIT), the CIM Committee took a further step towards this aim.

Digitalisation of CIT freight products

Following on from work on the electronic formal report (CIT20a), it was decided to digitalise all the working sheets and appendices in the CIT Freight Manual (GTM-CIT).

Based on the decisions taken by the 33rd meeting of the CIM Working Group in November 2022, and taking account of the comments received from CIT members in the interim, the CIT GS prepared the final supplements to the individual working sheets and appendices in the CIT Freight Manual (GTM-CIT). These were approved by the CIM Committee at its 26th meeting on 23 March, and will take effect on 1 July 2023. At members’ request, Appendices 14 “Wagon label” and 16 “Shunting restriction label” to GTM-CIT will take effect on 1 January 2025.

Irregularities reporting sheet for rail freight

The purpose of the irregularities reporting sheet is to improve the quality of international rail freight, enable cost savings, and take the necessary action to eliminate irregularities thanks to continuous multilingual real-time communication with a harmonised evaluation, interpretation and view of defects.

Following discussions in the CIM WG, the CIM Committee unanimously endorsed the CIT GS’ proposal to develop the reporting sheet as a new CIT product in the shape of a separate checklist for the recording of irregularities, i.e. not as an appendix to GTM-CIT. One other major potential use of the new checklist is in international movements of waste. The checklist would act as a one-stop-shop for the various parties involved in international movements of waste by bringing together all the accompanying documents, permits and other specific certificates requires for such movements, these documents currently being insufficiently harmonised at European level.

Impact of EU Customs Code on CIT freight products

The simplified transit procedure for rail in European Union (EU) Member States or in states which are parties to the “EU-EFTA convention on a common transit procedure” is set to expire by the end of 2023 (though according to the latest information this is likely to be put back to 1 January 2025). The precise date varies from one country to another, and depends on when they upgrade their national customs IT software for NCTS Phase 5 (NCTS 5)[1].

With the end of the simplified transit procedure, the paper CIM consignment note can no longer be used as a transit declaration by ticking box 58b, and will thus lose a significant customs functionality. A sub-group reporting to the CER Customs Working Group, in which the CIT GS has actively participated, has addressed the question of what other consequences the end of the simplified transit procedure will have on the CIM consignment note, in particular which customs-related boxes or datasets/subsets will become dispensable and which will remain relevant.

Wagon law

The CIT GS is involved in the UIC Wagon Users Study Group (WU SG), whose meetings it attends. The CIT GS acts as an advisor to UIC and intermittently supports its members on issues arising in connection with wagon law and the application of the General Contract for the Use of wagons (GCU). On the basis of this work, the CIT GS continuously updates the CIT products for the use of wagons in line with developments.

The discussions the CIT GS is currently involved in focus on establishing the ECM (Entity in Charge of Maintenance) as the wagon keeper’s auxiliary in the GCU, and on replacing wagons in service after maintenance and the associated costs. CIT also participates in an ad-hoc sub-group on the revision of GCU Article 19, which is in need of clarification. Discussions continue within the ad-hoc group, and CIT has offered its legal support to conclude work on adapting and revising the GCU. At the WU SG Chairman’s request, the CIT GS also initiated discussion of the further development of the CUV UR and GCU.

Next meeting

The 27th meeting of the CIM Committee will take place at CIT Headquarters in Bern on 28 March 2024.

[1] All EU Member States participate in the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), as do the parties to the convention on a common transit procedure, as well as Liechtenstein, San Marino and Andorra.