From 8 till 12 April 2019 the capital of the Republic of Korea, the city of Seoul, hosted meeting XXXIV of the Conference of General Directors (Authorised Representatives) of OSJD Railways, which was attended by general directors and authorised representatives from the following OSJD railways:
Azerbaijani Railways CJSC, Byelorussian Railway, Hungarian State Railways CJSC, State Company “Vietnamese Railway”, “Georgian Railway” JSC, “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy National Company” JSC, Chinese Railways, Korean Railroad Corporation “KORAIL”, Latvian Railway SJSC (Latvijas dzelzceļš), Lithuanian Railways JSC (Lietuvos geležinkeliai), “Railway of Moldova” State Enterprise, “Ulan-Bator Railway” JSC, “Polish State Railways” JSC, “Russian Railways” JSC, Railways of the Slovak Republic, State Unitary Enterprise “Rohi Ohani Tojikiston” (Tajik Railway), JSC “Uzbek Railways” (O’zbekiston temir yo’llari), JSC “Ukrainian Railway” (JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia”), “Czech Railways” JSC, Estonian Railway JSC.
The meeting was also attended by the representatives from: the OSJD observer – Federal Passenger Company JSC; OSJD affiliated enterprises: “Baltijas Ekspresis” JSC (Latvia), “Baltijas Tranzita Serviss” JSC (Latvia), “Euro Rail Cargo” LLC (Latvia), PLASKE JSC, South-West Railway University (Chengdu, China - Southwest Jiaotong University); CTM LLC (Russia), OLTIS Group (Czech Republic), as well as the invited guests from the international organisations - Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Coordinating Council for Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT).
The meeting was chaired by Chairman of the Conference – Mr. Son Beong Sok, President and General Director of the Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL).
In a video welcome address, demonstrated for the participants in CGD meeting XXXIV, HE Mun Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, welcomed the participants and expressed his gratitude to all the OSJD member countries for their unanimous support, thanks to which in June 2018 the Republic of Korea became a full OSJD member. Therefore, he stressed, it was especially significant for the country that, having become an OSJD member, it was hosting, following that historical decision, the first OSJD event of such a high level in the city of Seoul.
The President also noted that, having been established in 1956, the OSJD works tirelessly to develop and improve the legal and regulatory framework of international railway transport and makes a huge contribution to ensuring peace and common prosperity.
Focusing on the historical aspect of international railway transport, he noted that Son Gi-john, the winner of the 1936 Summer Olympics marathon in Berlin, traveled by train from Seoul to Berlin to participate in the Olympic Games having passed through the entire Eurasian continent. At that time, the residents of the Korean Peninsula were connected by railway with China, Russia and even Europe. But even after the suspension of the railway link between the North and the South of the peninsula in September 1945, the trains departing from Busan and Seoul are waiting in the wings to cross the continent again.
HE Mun Jae-in also noted that in April 2018, an accord was reached with the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea HE Kim Jong-un to begin work on connecting and modernizing the railways of the North and the South. In addition, an initiative was launched to create the “East Asian Railway Community” with the participation of the six states of North-East Asia and the United States.
The President expressed his hope that the East Asian Railway Community will lay the foundation for the creation of the ‘Energy’ and ‘Economic’ Communities, and will provide a good basis for creating a multilateral system of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the region as a whole. Connecting the railways of the North and the South of the peninsula will mean the final element in the completion of work on the creation of the “Iron Silk Road” in Eurasia.
In conclusion, HE Mun Jae-in expressed his confidence that the day will come when people will be able to come to the Republic of Korea by train.
In her speech, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea HE Kim Hyun-mee expressed her great satisfaction with the fact that CGD meeting XXXIV was held in the Republic of Korea, which railways have deep historical roots: 120 years ago, in 1899, a railway link was opened between the cities of Seoul and Incheon.
Since then, the Korean railroads have undergone considerable changes. If the total length of the railways was only 34 km at the very beginning, today it is already more than 4900 km, and the high-speed trains, which can run at a speed of up to 300 km/h, make it possible to manage the affairs at both ends of the country within only half a day.
Every day, about 10 million people enjoy the services provided by railways, which play the role of the country's main transport and logistics artery.
However, Ms. Kim Hyun-mee added, despite such achievements, the railways of the Republic of Korea have no direct access to the main Eurasian continent's railway network. In the past, Seoul Railway Station was an international hub in North-East Asia, providing railway connections to the continent.
In 1907 the hero of the national liberation movement Lee Jun, was to leave for The Hague by a decree of Emperor Kojon to take part in the international conference on peace and arms reduction to declare the illegitimacy of the Protectorate Treaty and appeal to the world’s community to help Korea regain its independence. To do this, he boarded a train at Seoul station and after 2 months arrived in The Hague (The Netherlands).
The lack of a direct railway connection to the Eurasian continent’s railways in recent decades has had a negative effect on the development of freight traffic. That is why the adhesion of the country into the OSJD is of a special value. “For the Republic of Korea, full-fledged membership in such an authoritative international railway organisation means a solid foundation laid down for resuming a confident movement of our iron horse to incorporate with the world community,” noticed the Minister.
Last year, along with the entry of the Republic of Korea into OSJD, another event occurred that will remain forever in the history of railway communication: the Leaders of the South and the North during the 3 inter-Korean summits agreed to reconnect the railways and highways of the Korean Peninsula, as well as to unite efforts for ensuring peace and common prosperity. In the same vein, President Mun Jae-in initiated the creation of a Railway Community in Eastern Asia.
In accordance with these accords, Seoul and Pyongyang carried out a joint study of the technical state of the northern railways, as well as held a ceremony of laying the first stone for the project to reconnect and modernize the Trans-Korean railway, the Basic Action Plan for which implementation the parties intend to prepare this year.
“The connection of railways with the continental railway network is an excellent start-up for ensuring the joint prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and the entire Eurasian continent,” the Minister said. “I hope that very soon the day will come when the trains of our country, moving along successfully reconnected Korean railways, will freely arrive in the OSJD member countries”.
In conclusion, Ms. Kim Hyun-Mi expressed her hope that the Republic of Korea, as a full member of OSJD, together with other members of the organisation, developing the railway traffic, will participate in laying the foundations of economic development and moving confidently towards peace in the whole world.
A welcoming address on behalf of the Korean Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) was made by the President of the Company Mr. Son Beong-Sok, who noted that for KORAIL this event was the first CGD meeting in its status as a full member of the organisation, therewithal, KORAIL was performing the role of the receiving party.
Until the middle of the XX-th century Korea was a country where the railways of the Eurasian continent had their start and end. However, after the signing of the cease-fire agreement in 1953 for 66 years not a single train has left the Republic of Korea in the direction of the Eurasian network. However, the historic inter-Korean meeting marked the beginning of a ‘peaceful spring’ on the Korean Peninsula. The Leaders of the South and the North of the Korean Peninsula in the Panmunjom Declaration of 27 April 2018 announced their intention to establish an everlasting and stable peace on the Korean Peninsula and presented their vision of the peace in the whole world. Thus, the foundation was laid for the resumption of railway traffic on the Trans-Korean Railway Line.
Our KORAIL Corporation, he added, in the name of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, has been actively working to reconnect the Trans-Korean Railway with the continental railway network.
After the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration, Mr. Son Beong-Sok continued, as part of its implementation, we first of all took part in the work of the Subcommittee on Cooperation between the South and North Railways. 2 times, in July and November 2018, representatives of the railways of the South and the North conducted a joint inspection of the railways of the North, having achieved a consensus on the modernization of railways, the need for technological cooperation, as well as on the cooperation in the field of railway traffic.
At the end of last year, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the project to connect and modernize the railways and highways of the East and the West Seas, which was reflected in the Pyongyang Declaration of 19 September 2018.
In conclusion, Mr. Son Beong-Sok expressed the KORAIL’s desire to continue working consistently on expanding cooperation in the railway sector and building trust through deepening mutual understanding with the support of the railways of the OSJD member countries.
As part of the agenda, the participants of the CGD meeting discussed the working results for 2018 of the OSJD Commissions on Freight Traffic, Passenger Traffic, Infrastructure and Rolling Stock, the OSJD Permanent Working Groups on Coding and Information Technology, on Finance and Accounting. The following issues were also addressed:
- progress of mutual accounting and the mechanism for repayment of debts between the railways;
- progress of work of the International Conference for the adoption of the text of the Convention on Direct International Railway Traffic;
- progress of work of the AWG on vocational education/training in the field of railway transport;
- Report on the OSJD Activities for 2018;
- OSJD Programme of Work for 2020 and subsequent years;
- OSJD Committee Budget (final - for 2019 and preliminary - for 2020);
- residence of the OSJD Committee;
- granting the status of an OSJD affiliated enterprise;
- sequence of the venues of the CGD meetings for 2020 and subsequent years;
- provisional agenda, date and venue of the CGD meeting XXXV.
Having noted a successful implementation of the OSJD Work Programme and Work Plan for 2018, the Conference approved the “Report on OSJD Activities for 2018”, confirmed the “OSJD Work Programme for 2020 and the years to follow” in the field of freight and passenger traffic, infrastructure and rolling stock, coding and information technology, as well as financial and accounting issues.
A number of obligatory and obligatory-recommendatory leaflets, changes and amendments into the Harmonized Commodity Code (GNG) and other regulatory documents operating within the OSJD framework have been approved, a number of outdated leaflets have been canceled, and other important decisions have been taken in this area.
In the field of the activities of the OSJD Commission on Freight Traffic, it was decided to approve and implement the amendments and changes into the Harmonized Commodity Code (GNG) since 1 June 2019, approve and bring into effect amendments and changes, since 1 August 2019, into the OSJD Leaflet О 405 “Regulations on the creation and follow-up of the List of Freight Stations of the OSJD Railways”, cancel the outdated OSJD Leaflet O 402 “Rules for the exchange and use of freight wagons of the new generation in the traffic between the railways of 1435 mm and 1520 mm gauges”.
It was also decided to continue working in the fields of:
- improving the Agreement on the organisational and operational aspects of combined transport in the Europe-Asia traffic and updating Annexes I, II, III and IV to the Agreement;
- developing the combined transport in international freight traffic, including multimodal and intermodal transport, in cooperation with UNESCAP, UNECE, EAEC, UPU, WCO, OTIF, CIT, CCTT and FIATA, with the participation of concerned observers and affiliated OSJD enterprises;
- improving the ETT Agreement and updating of the ETT Tariff;
- improving the MTT Agreement and updating the MTT Tariff;
- improving the PGW Agreement with its annexes;
- updating the Harmonized Commodity Code (GNG) in cooperation with the UIC;
- updating the List of Freight Stations of the OSJD Railways in accordance with the OSJD Leaflet O 405 “Regulations on the creation and follow-up of the List of Freight Stations of the OSJD Railways” (3rd edition) with the participation of the PWG CI experts and in cooperation with the UIC;
- the subject “Organisation of large-capacity container traffic between Europe and Asia”, including the transportation organisation of postal items, in collaboration with UNESCAP, EAEC, WCO, UIC, CCTT, FIATA;
- development and organisation of the transportation of postal items in international traffic in cooperation with the UPU, WCO, OTIF, CIT, CCTT, FIATA;
- development and organisation of freight traffic under the application of the CIM/SMGS consignment note, including postal items, in cooperation with UNESCAP, EAEC, UPU, WCO, CIT, CCTT, FIATA;
- UNESCAP-OSJD joint projects in cooperation with EAEC, WCO, CCTT, FIATA and with the participation of the experts from the OSJD Commission on Transport Policy and Development Strategy;
- coordinating the freight trains timetables by the railway companies in international traffic;
- coordinating the volume of international freight traffic;
- considering the issue of updating the Joint Leaflet OSJD O 402 / UIC 430-5 “Regulations for the exchange and use of new generation freight wagons in the traffic between railways with gauges of 1435 mm and 1520 mm” in cooperation with the UIC experts;
- the use of freight wagons in international traffic with the participation of the OSJD Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock and in cooperation with the UIC and CCTT;
- the subject “Conducting research in the field of the terminology of combined, intermodal and multimodal transportation” with the participation of the specialist of the OSJD Commission on Transport Policy and Development Strategy and concerned OSJD affiliated enterprises and in cooperation with the UNESCAP;
- issues of competitiveness and marketing in cooperation with the UNESCAP, UNECE, WCO, UPU, EAEK, CIT, UIC, CCTT and FIATA.
It was proposed to approve the Recommendations adopted at the XI-th OSJD International Freight Conference (2-3 October 2018, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran) and support the proposal of the OSJD Commission on Freight Traffic to submit the draft amendments into the “Agreement on the organisational and operational aspects of combined traffic between Europe and Asia”, into Annexes III and IV to the Agreement for the approval by Session XLVII of the OSJD Ministerial Conference.
The OSJD Commission on Passenger Traffic was instructed to develop and agree on the timetables, schemes of passenger trains formation and provision of coaches in them in the international passenger traffic of the I-st and II-nd groups of railways of railways for 2019/2020, as well as to continue working in the field of:
- updating the Agreement on the International Railway Passenger Tariff (MPT), taking into account the changes and amendments made in the SMPS Agreement;
- the subject “Systems of seat reservation, passenger information and reference services, provision of services and formation of financial records”;
- improving the Agreement on the “Rules for the use of passenger coaches in international traffic” (PPW) and the PPW Rules.
The OSJD railways shall endeavour to ensure the running of international passenger trains in a strict accordance with the timetables throughout the route and, together with the border and customs authorities, organise the timely processing of trains at the border crossing points.
In order to implement the decisions taken by CGD meeting XXXII and Session XLV of the OSJD Ministerial Conference, the concerned OSJD railways should intensify the work aimed at preparing proposals (measures) to implement the provisions of Resolution No. 264 of the 79th UNECE ITC session regarding the international railway passenger traffic and to forward them to the OSJD Committee for summing up.
Basing on the submitted proposals, the OSJD working bodies together with the Russian Railways JSC shall prepare a joint action plan for the implementation of UNECE Resolution No. 264 with a view to its further consideration and approval at the next CGD meeting.
The OSJD Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock was commissioned to continue its work in 2019 on the following subjects:
- “Rolling stock gauges in international traffic in view of interoperability requirements”;
- “Railway track and engineer structures”;
- “Signalling, interlocking and communications networks”;
- “Power supply and power traction facilities”;
- “Rolling stock for railways. Technical requirements as to its elements”;
- “Participation of railway companies interested in the conversion of the joint OSJD/UIC leaflets included in the priority list into the draft OSJD/UIC international technical solutions in the field of railway transport of voluntary accession” taking into account the amended title of the subject.
The OSJD Permanent Working Group on Coding and Information Technology was commissioned to continue its work in the field of the following subjects:
- “Coding and Information Technology”;
- “Paperless technology for the carriage of goods in international railway traffic”;
- “Conducting international financial calculations by using paperless technology”;
- “Paperless technology for the carriage of goods in international railway traffic”;
- “Security of information resources and information and telecommunications infrastructure”;
- “Information support for freight and passenger international railway traffic. Technical specifications for interoperability in freight and passenger international railway traffic interoperability (TAF TSI and TAP TSI)”;
- “OSJD Web-site”.
The following joint OSJD/UIC leaflets have been approved:
О 917-5 «Description of the Hermes system», IV-th edition as of 12.04.2019;
О 920-13 “Unified Coding and Data Structure Required in International Freight Traffic”, V-th edition as of 12.04.2019.
The following OSJD leaflets have been approved:
O+R 943 “Library of standard electronic messages for international freight traffic on the terms of the SMGS Agreement in the UN/EDIFACT standard”, XII-th edition as of 12.04.2019;
O+R 944 “List of classifiers and codes of data elements. Library of codes lists for freight traffic under the terms of the SMGS Agreement”, XI-th edition as of 12.04.2019.
The Regulations of the OSJD/UIC Joint Group on Coding and Information Technology as of 12.04.2019 have been approved.
The joint OSJD/UIC Leaflet O 920-13 “Standard coding and data structure required in the international railway freight traffic”, IV-th edition as of 29.04.2016, has been cancelled.
Moreover, the following OSJD Leaflets have been cancelled:
- O+R 943 “Library of standard electronic messages for international freight traffic on the terms of the SMGS Agreement in the UN/EDIFACT standard”, XI-th edition as of 20.04.2018;
- O+R 944 “List of classifiers and codes of data elements. Library of codes lists for freight traffic under the terms of the SMGS Agreement”, X-th edition as of 20.04.2018.
The Regulations of the OSJD/UIC Joint Group on Coding and Information Technology as of 12 November 1999 have been cancelled.
The following works have been approved to be continued:
- implementation of the projects for the information support of international railway freight traffic:
- by the SMGS consignment note data,
- by the CIM/SMGS consignment note data,
- by the train data,
- by the data of other documents used in the SMGS Agreement,
- by the data of accompanying documents (invoice/bill, packing list);
- on the recognition and application of electronic transport documents with electronic digital signature/electronic signature in cross-border traffic between the railway enterprises of the OSJD member countries in accordance with the concluded agreements;
- on the modernization of the OSJD Website with a view to its completion before the end of 2019.
The OSJD Permanent Working Group on Finance and Accounting (PWGF) has been instructed to continue its work as follows:
- update the existing Agreement on the Rules for Accounting in International Passenger and Freight Railway Traffic and the Rules for Accounting in International Passenger and Freight Railway Traffic taking into account the modern conditions of railway transport operation, improve the technology and reduce the accounting periods for international railway traffic, to introduce electronic document exchange in the sphere of financial relations between the Parties to the Agreement on the Rules for Accounting;
- to facilitate the repayment of debts between the railways;
- to organise the PWGF expert group work by the PWGF fields of activities according to the approved Plan of Work.
The OSJD Leaflet О+R 301 “On the OSJD specialized accounting organisation” has been approved.
It has been decided to continue cooperation with UIC on financial and accounting issues.
Having approved the Report on the work progress of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Vocational Education/Training in the Field of Railway Transport for March 2017 – March 2018, the Conference addressed Session ХLVII of the OSJD Ministerial Conference with the proposal to take a number of the following decisions on this agenda item:
- to support the practice of conducting pilot projects and the development of model training/education programmes and continue working with concerned organisations of the OSJD member countries providing education/training regarding their education/training programmes;
- to approve the Recommendations of the OSJD Conference “Training in the field of railway traffic: new challenges and opportunities for the growth of professional competencies” (22-23 October 2018, Moscow, Russian Federation);
- to establish an OSJD Academy within the OSJD structure, which will provide common approaches to the training/education of personnel in the application field of the OSJD documents and other legal acts used in the international railway transport, to include the participation of other modes of transport;
- the AWG shall have developed, by 1 December 2019, draft Regulations on the OSJD Academy and other documents related to its operation to be further submitted for the consideration and approval by the OSJD governing bodies;
- to approve the amendments into the following OSJD documents:
- Statute on the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways,
- Regulations of the OSJD Committee,
- Regulations of the OSJD Permanent Working Groups;
- the OSJD Committee shall make changes in the OSJD staffing table;
- to continue the work as follows:
- in regard to the standard training programmes of recommendatory nature, advanced training and personnel training in the application of OSJD documents,
- to conduct pilot training projects in the field of OSJD documents application with inviting concerned organisations,
- to prepare and organise new conferences in the field of education/training;
- to facilitate the OSJD informational internet resource to popularize the issues of vocational education/training in the field of railway transport;
- to use in the further activities the approved Recommendations of the OSJD Conference “Training in the field of railway traffic: new challenges and opportunities for the growth of professional competencies” (22-23 October 2018, Moscow, Russian Federation).
The Conference recommended Session XLVII of the OSJD Ministerial Conference to determine, in accordance with Article X of the OSJD Statute, Warsaw – the capital of the Republic of Poland – as residence of the OSJD Committee for the period of 2020-2024.
In accordance with the decision of CGD meeting XXXIV, the status of an OSJD affiliated enterprise has been granted to:
- LLC “Ruskon”, Moscow, Russia;
- LLC “Vostok 1520”, Moscow, Russia;
- CJSC “Gargzdu Railway”, Gargzdai, Lithuania;
- DBA Group S.P.A., Villorba, Italy;
- Digital Logistics LLC, Moscow, Russia;
- JSC “Enteria”, Pardubice, Czech Republic;
- LLC “ECOLINE”, Moscow, Russia;
- “Maxima Logistic” LLC, Moscow, Russia.
Having accepted with gratitude the invitations of the General Director - Chairman of the Board of the Russian Railways OJSC Oleg Belozyerov, Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Railway JSC Yevhen Kravtsov; General Director of the Railways of the Slovak Republic Juraj Tkác,, the Conference set up the sequence of the CGD meetings (Assembly) as follows:
meeting XXXV 2020 – Russian Federation;
meeting XXXVI 2021 – Ukraine;
meeting XXXVII 2022 – Slovak Republic;
meeting XXXVIII 2023 – Republic of Latvia.
The provisional agenda for CGD meeting XXXV will include the following items:
- working results for the year of 2019 of the OSJD Commissions on Freight Traffic, Passenger Traffic, Infrastructure and Rolling Stock, as well as the PWGCI and PWGF;
- progress of mutual accounting settlement and mechanism for debts repayment between the railways;
- progress of work of the International Conference for the adoption of the text of the draft Convention on Direct International Railway Traffic;
- progress of work of the AWG on vocational education/training in the field of railway transport;
- Report on the OSJD Activities for 2019;
- OSJD Programme of Work for 2021 and subsequent years;
- OSJD Committee budget (final – for 2020 and preliminary – for 2021);
- granting the status of an OSJD affiliated enterprise;
- provisional agenda, date and venue of CGD meeting XXXVI.
The conference gratefully accepted the invitation of Oleg Belozyerov, General Director – Chairman of the Board of the Russian Railways OJSC, to hold CGD meeting XXXV in the Russian Federation in the period from 20 April till 24 April 2020.