Organisation intergouvernementale pour les transports internationaux ferroviaires (OTIF)
Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF)
Zwischenstaatliche Organisation für den Internationalen Eisenbahnverkehr (OTIF)
Established on coming into force of T-XT8045 - Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail, 1980, of 9 May 1980, when reorganization of statutory bodies dealing with CIM/CIV conventions resulted in an intergovernmental organization with a legal framework in international law. The 1st T-XT0067 - International Convention Concerning the Carriage of Goods by Rail - originally called Bern Convention and later known as CIM - was signed 14 Oct 1890, came into force 1 Jan 1893 and amended in the course of several Revision Conferences (1986, 1905, 1923, 1933, 1952, 1961 and 1970). T-XT2467 - International Convention Concerning the Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail - known as CIV - was signed 23 Oct 1924 and came into force 1928. It was revised in ordinary Revision Conferences (1933, 1952, 1961 and 1970) together with CIM, ie T-XT5238 - Revision of the International Conventions Concerning the Carriage of Goods by Rail and of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (CIM, CIV). As the original CIV Convention did not include any provisions on railway liability in the event of death or injury, T-XT6690 - Additional Convention Relating to the Liability of the Railway for Death of and Personal Injury was signed 26 Feb 1966 and entered into force 1 Jan 1973.
The present Convention, COTIF, emerged from the 8th Revision Conference of 9 May 1980 and was signed by all member states of CIM and CIV; it came into force on 1 May 1985 and fundamentally reformed the structure of the Convention, not only setting up OTIF with a legal personality and with OCTI as its permanent Secretariat, but separating institutional provisions (which appear in the Convention proper) from rules on the Contract of Carriage. These latter appeared in two appendices: 'CIV Uniform Rules' for the carriage of passengers and luggage; 'CIM Uniform Rules' for the carriage of goods. Subsequent amendments to COTIF/CIV-CIM adopted by the Revision Committee, 14-21 Dec 1989, entered into force 1 Jan 1991, and those adopted on 28-31 May 1990 entered into force 1 Jun 1991. Further amendments to 'CIV Uniform Rules', to 'CIM Uniform Rules' and to the Convention proper are included in 1990 Protocol of December 20, 1990 amending the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail - COTIF - of May 9, 1980, entered into force 1 Nov 1996. A new version of COTIF, T-XT9974 - Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail, 1999, extending its application, simplifying rules and adapting them to liberalization of the international market was adopted by the 5th OTIF General Assembly, 3 Jun 1999, Vilnius (Lithuania), and entered into force, 1 Jul 2006. Statutes registered in 'LNTS 4483'.
Promote, improve and facilitate international traffic by rail.
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According to COTIF 1999 currently in force, functioning is ensured by the following organs: General Assembly (every 3 years); Administrative Committee (meets at least annually) represents a third of Member States and currently consists of 15 members; Secretary General, elected for a 3-year period, heads Secretariat. Committees: Revision Committee; Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods; Committee of Technical Experts; Rail Facilitation Committee. All committees save Administrative Committee are composed of representatives of all Member States. Secretary General performs Depositary duties and duty of Registrar to Arbitration Tribunal instituted by the Convention, prepares General Assemblies, Committee and Commissions meetings.
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