Meeting XXXVII of the Conference of General Directors (Authorised Representatives) of OSJD Railways
Meeting XXXVII of the Conference of General Directors (Authorised Representatives) of OSJD Railways was held from 12 till 14 April (a meeting of authorised representatives, OSJD Committee, in videoconferencing mode) and on 19 April 2023 (a plenary meeting, Warsaw, Republic of Poland) with the participation of general directors and authorised representatives from the following OSJD railways:
Azerbaijani Railways CJSC, Afghanistan Railway Authority, Byelorussian Railway, Hungarian State Railways Co. (MAV), Vietnamese Railway SC, Georgian Railway JSC, “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy National Company” JSC (Railway of Kazakhstan), State Corporation “Chinese Railways”, Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL), State Enterprise “Kyrgyz Temir Zholu National Company” (Kyrgyz Railway), Latvijas dzelzceļš SJSC (Latvian Railway), AS Lietuvos geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), Railway of Moldova State Enterprise*, Ulan-Bator Railway JSC, Polish State Railways JSC, Russian Railways OJSC*, National Railway Company of Romania “CFR”-S.A., Railways of Slovak Republic*, State Unitary Enterprise “Rokhi ohani Tojikiston” (Tajik Railway), “O’zbekiston temir yo’llari” JSC (Uzbek Railways), Ukrainian Railways JSC, Czech Railways JSC, Estonian Railway JSC.
The CGD meeting was also attended by the representatives of the OSJD affiliated enterprises: the Institute of Railway Transport (Republic of Poland), PLASKE JSC (Ukraine) and Gepard Express (SE) (Czech Republic).
The meeting was chaired as follows: the meeting of authorised representatives of the CGD members for the preliminary consideration of the materials submitted for consideration by CGD, held from 12 till 14 April 2023 (OSJD Committee, in videoconferencing mode) – by Secretary of the OSJD Committee Attila Kiss, and the plenary session of the Conference on 19 April 2023 (Warsaw) – by Chairman of the OSJD Committee Mirosław Antonowicz.
Addressing the participants of the plenary session, Chairman of the OSJD Committee Mirosław Antonowicz expressed his satisfaction that after a three-year interruption resulted from the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that necessitated all works to be carried out in the remote videoconferencing mode, it has finally become possible to meet in person.
He also noted that the OSJD, established in 1956, is working tirelessly to develop and improve the regulatory framework for international railway transport and makes a huge contribution to ensuring transport links between Europe and Asia and facilitating common prosperity. The tasks to be resolved included the activities to form a coordinated transport policy, improve international transport law, increase the competitiveness of railway transport and meet the OSJD member countries’ needs in the transportation of goods and passengers in the Eurasian space.
The recent years have shown how quickly the world can change and how various kinds of changes affect the requirements in the field of transport, the need to find new solutions, apply new technologies. In all these aspects, the key point is cooperation, the ability to find a common language and work together, which is what all members within the OSJD strive for.
The Chairman of the OSJD Committee also expressed his confidence that after prolonged restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of railway transportation will be gradually restored and increased thanks to the joint efforts of all OSJD member countries, and the developed practices and solutions will further shape the transport sector for the future. A future that we all would like to see in the context of peace, stability and confidence in tomorrow.
As part of the agenda, the participants of the CGD meeting discussed the results of work for 2022 of the OSJD Commissions on Freight Traffic, on Passenger Traffic, on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock, the OSJD Permanent Working Groups on Coding and Information Technology, on Finance and Accounting. The following issues have been also addressed:
- progress of mutual accounting and the mechanism for repaying debts between railways;
- progress of work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the issues of vocational education/ training in the field of railway traffic;
- Report on the OSJD Activities for 2022;
- OSJD Work Programme for 2024 and subsequent years;
- OSJD Committee Budget (final – for 2023 and preliminary – for 2024);
- distribution of posts in the managing board of the OSJD Committee, chairmen/chairpersons and specialists in the OSJD working bodies;
- appointment of the OSJD Committee managing board;
- sequence of venues to host the CGD meetings for 2024 and subsequent years;
- provisional agenda, date and venue of the XXXVIII meeting of the CGD.
The Conference noted the successful implementation of the OSJD Work Programme and Work Plan for 2022 and approved the Report on OSJD Activities for 2022, approved the OSJD Work Programme for 2024 and subsequent years in the field of freight and passenger traffic, infrastructure and rolling stock, coding and information technology, as well as financial and accounting issues, and took note of the OSJD Work Programme for 2024 and subsequent years in the field of transport pol- icy, development strategy, transport law, vocational education/training in the field of railway traffic and the General Section.
A number of obligatory and obligatory-recommendatory leaflets, amendments and additions to the Harmonised Nomenclature of Goods (GNG) and other regulatory documents operating within the framework of OSJD were approved, while a number of outdated leaflets were annulled, as well as other important decisions were made in this area.
In the field of the OSJD Commission on Freight Traffic activities, it was decided to approve and put into effect as of 1 June 2023 changes and additions to the Harmonised Nomenclature of Goods (GNG). It was also decided to continue the works towards:
- improving the Agreement on the Uniform Transit Tariff (ETT) and updating the ETT Tariff;
- improving the Agreement on the International Railway Transit Tariff (MTT) and updating the MTT Tariff;
- improving the Agreement on the use of freight wagons in international traffic (PGW) and updating the Rules for the use of freight wagons in international traffic (Appendix B (Б) to the PGW Agreement);
- improving the Agreement on the transportation of containers as part of container trains in international traffic;
- updating the Harmonised Nomenclature of Goods (GNG), ensuring the harmonisation of the GNG and the UIC Harmonised Nomenclature of Goods (NHM) in cooperation with the UIC Steering Committee on NHM/DIUM issues;
- coordination of the volumes of goods carried in international traffic;
- coordination by railway companies of timetables for the movement of freight trains in international traffic;
- organisation of container transportation in international traffic and transportation using the CIM/SMGS consignment note in cooperation with UNESCAP, ECO, EEC, WCO, CCTT, TITR, FIATA, UIC with the invitation of concerned international organisations;
- development of multimodal, intermodal, combined transport in international traffic, including in mixed traffic, in cooperation with UNESCAP, UNECE, UPU, ECE, ECO, WCO, TRACECA, CIT, CCTT, TITR, FIATA with the invitation of concerned international organisations;
- development and organisation of the transportation of postal shipments in international traffic in cooperation with the UPU, WCO, OTIF, CIT, CCTT;
- consideration of the subject “Use of freight wagons in international traffic” on the issue of developing recommendations for the identification of freight wagons in international traffic;
- consideration of the subject “Conducting a study on the terminology of combined, intermodal and multimodal transportation (TCIMT)” with the participation of the UNESCAP experts, representatives of the OSJD affiliated enterprises – the Russian University of Transport (RUT (MIIT)) and PLASKE JSC, the working staff of the OSJD Commission on Freight Traffic;
- carrying out the OSJD work within the framework of the UNESCAP projects in the field of freight traffic in cooperation with the ECO, WCO, TCITR and with the invitation of concerned international organisations.
For more efficient organisation of operational activities in terms of annual planning of foreign trade transportation and its follow up, as well as taking into account the fact that the Byelorussian Railway and the Turkmen Railways – the Agency “Turkmendemiryollary” joined the work of the meeting of the representatives of railways and foreign trade organisations of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Kazakhstan, People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Republic of Uzbekistan, in agreeing on the volume of transportation of export, import and transit goods by rail and developing measures to ensure them, the participants in this subject addressed the Railway of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI) and the Afghan Railways Authority (ARA) with an invitation to join this meeting in 2024.
The OSJD Commission on Passenger Traffic has been instructed to continue working in the fields of:
- development and approval of the timetable, coach sequence indicators of passenger trains and the provision of coaches in them in international traffic of groups I and II of the OSJD railways for 2023/2024;
- the subject “Systems of seat reservation, reference and information services for passengers, provision of services and generating financial statements”;
- improvement of the Agreement on International Railway Passenger Tariff (MPT Agreement) and the MPT Tariff, taking into account changes and amendments to the SMPS Agreement;
- improvement of the Agreement on the “Rules for the use of passenger coaches in international traffic” (PPW Agreement) and the PPW Rules, including § 7 of Appendix B (Б) to the PPW Agreement “Compensation for the use of coaches and other accountings”.
The OSJD railways shall continue their work towrads the resumption of international passenger traffic in the conditions of the post-COVID period on a bilateral and multilateral basis.
The OSJD Commission on Passenger Traffic at the final meeting shall consider the inclusion of new issues in the draft Work Plan for 2024: “Management of railway station buildings and passenger railway stations in terms of services provided to passengers, including passengers with reduced mobility, as well as equipping stations and station buildings with navigation indicators”.
The concerned OSJD railways and specialists of the OSJD Commission on Passenger Traffic shall continue to participate in the work of the Group of Experts of the UNECE ITC on international hubs in international railway traffic in order to identify the barriers hindering the development of international railway passenger traffic.
The OSJD railways of group II, in order to improve passenger service, issue travel documents and sell tickets, obtain background information on the availability of seats and fares, generate analytical data on trains shall continue their joint work towards organising the interaction of electronic reservation systems within the framework of the expert meetings of the Commission on the subject “Systems for seat reservation, reference and information services for passengers, providing services and generating financial statements”.
The OSJD Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock has been tasked to continue its works in 2023 on the following subjects:
- “Railway track and engineering structures”;
- “Signalling, interlocking and communications network”;
- “Rolling stock dimensions in international traffic, taking into account the requirements for interoperability”;
- “Railway and artificial structures”;
- “STSB and communication networks”;
- “Energy supply and electric traction devices”;
- “Rolling stock for railways. Technical requirements as to its elements”;
- “Migration of the joint OSJD/UIC leaflets into draft international railway solutions (IRS)”.
It was decided to approve the Regulations of the OSJD/UIC Joint Group on the Processing of Joint OSJD/UIC Leaflets into Draft International Railway Solutions, annulling the 2016 edition.
The OSJD Leaflets of mandatory and recommendatory nature O+R 516 “Railway rolling stock. Technical requirements as to rolling stock for international traffic between 1435-mm and 1520-mm gauge railways of the OSJD member countries. Freight wagons” (III edition dated 19 April 2023) and O+R 520 “Railway rolling stock. Technical requirements as to rolling stock for international traffic between 1435-mm and 1520-mm gauge railways of the OSJD member countries. Passenger Coaches” (III edition dated 19 April 2023) have been approved and their 2nd editions have been cancelled.
The OSJD Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock has been instructed to include into the agenda of its final meeting (7-9 November 2023, OSJD Committee, Warsaw) the items for considering the issue of the following promising and innovative areas:
- creation of modern railway digital radio communications using communication network standards of at least the fourth and fifth generations (4G/LTE and 5G);
- automation and robotisation of the infrastructure maintenance process using artificial smart technologies and digital modelling tools/digital twins;
- digital automatic coupling.
In order to consider one of these innovative directions and taking into account the innovative trends, the OSJD Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock has been tasked to hold a high-level meeting or a round table on the elaboration of an OSJD development strategy in this area, and starting from 2024 to hold expert meetings on each of the subjects within the competence of the OSJD Commissions on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock at least twice a year.
The OSJD Permanent Working Group on Coding and Information Technology has been instructed to continue its works on the following subjects:
- “Coding and Information Technology”;
- “Paperless technology for the transportation of goods in international railway traffic”;
- “Conducting international financial accounting by using paperless technology”;
- “Security of information resources and information and telecommunications infrastructure”;
- “Information support for the freight and passenger traffic. Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TAF TSI and TAP TSI)”;
- “OSJD Website”.
The following OSJD Leaflets of a mandatory and mandatory-recommendatory nature have been approved:
O 920-13 “Unified coding and structure of the data required in international freight traffic” (VIII edition as of 19 April 2023);
O+R 943 “Library of standard electronic messages for the transportation of goods in international traffic on the terms of the SMGS Agreement in the UN/ EDIFACT standard” (XVI edition as of 19 April 2023);
O+R 944 “List of classifiers and codes of data elements. Library of code lists for freight traffic on the terms of the SMGS Agreement” (XV edition as of 19 April 2023);
O+R 945 “Library of standard electronic messages in the UN/EDIFACT standard for the accounting in international passenger and freight traffic” (I edition as of 19 April 2023);
O+R 946 “Library of the lists of qualifiers and codes of data elements for providing accounting in international passenger and freight traffic” (I edition as of 19 April 2023).
The continuation of work on the implementation of projects for the information support of international railway freight traffic was approved by using:
- data of the SMGS consignment note;
- data of CIMS/SMGS consignment note;
- train data;
- data of other documents used in SMGS;
- data of accompanying documents (invoice, packing list).
- data on consignors and consignees.
The meeting addressed the Holding BDZ and CFM with an invitation to join the project on information support of international railway freight traffic.
It was decided to continue works on the recognition and use of electronic transport documents with an electronic digital signature/ electronic signature in cross-border traffic between the railway enterprises of the OSJD member countries in accordance with the agreements concluded by them, as well as to continue joint work together with the PRGF on the development and implementation of electronic document management in the field of financial relations between the railway enterprises of the OSJD member countries in the event that there are relevant agreements between the parties to the Agreement on the Rules for Accounting in International Freight and Passenger Traffic.
The OSJD Permanent Working Group on Finance and Accounting (PRGF) has been tasked to continue its works in the following areas:
- updating the current 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 purely, taking into account modern conditions for the operation of railway transport, including for freight traffic;
- improving the technology and reducing the time for making payments for transportation in international railway traffic;
- preparation of proposals for the organisation of electronic document management in the field of financial relations agreed by the Parties to the Agreement on the Rules for Accounting;
- in the areas of the PRGF expert group’s activities;
- clearing the debts between railways.
It is recommended that the heads of railways take effective measures to repay debts, as well as hold bilateral meetings to settle mutual accountings, including on the OSJD platform, while in the absence of positive results following the results of bilateral meetings – they shall apply to the Commission for the settlement of mutual debts between member railways of the Agreement on the Rules for Accounting in International Passenger and Freight Railway Traffic.
Having approved the Progress Report of the activities of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the issues of vocational education/training in the field of railway traffic for August 2022 – March 2023, the Conference proposed to session ХLVII of the OSJD Ministerial Conference to take a number of decisions in this regard.
The OSJD Committee and the OSJD working bodies, on the basis of the approved OSJD Work Programme for 2024 and subsequent years, shall develop draft OSJD Work Plans for 2024 and submit them for approval to the joint meeting of the Plenipotentiary Representatives of the members of the OSJD Ministerial Conference and the Conference of General Directors (Authorised Representatives) of OSJD Railways in 2023.
Having agreed on the distribution of posts in the managerial board of the OSJD Committee, of the chairmen/chairpersons and specialists in the OSJD working bodies until 30 June 2027, the Conference recommended that session L of the OSJD Ministerial Conference approve it.
The Conference decided to appoint Mr. Attila Kiss, representative of the OSJD member from Hungary, to the post of Secretary of the OSJD Committee for the period until 30 June 2027 and recommended that session L of the OSJD Ministerial Conference take appropriate decision on the appointment of the management board of the OSJD Committee – Chairman and his Deputies.
The following provisional agenda for meeting XXXVIII of the Conference of General Directors was adopted:
1. Progress of work of the OSJD Commission on Freight Traffic for 2023.
2. Progress of work of the OSJD Commission on Passenger Traffic for 2023.
3. Progress of work of the OSJD Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock for 2023.
4. Progress of work of the OSJD Permanent Working Group on Coding and Information Technology for 2023.
5. Progress of work of the OSJD Permanent Working Group on Finance and Accounting for 2023.
6. Progress in mutual settlements and the mechanism for repaying debts between railways.
7. Progress of work of the AWG of vocational education/training in the field of railway traffic.
8. Report on OSJD Activities for 2023.
9. OSJD Work Programme for 2025 and sub- sequent years.
10. OSJD Committee Budget (final – for 2024 and preliminary – for 2025).
11. Progress of work of the International Conference on the Adoption of the Text of the Convention on Direct International Railway Traffic.
12. Residence of the OSJD Committee.
13. Granting the status of an OSJD affiliated enterprise.
14. Provisional agenda, date and venue of CGD meeting XXXIX.
The Conference has decided to hold its meeting XXXVIII from 15 till 19 April 2024, the venue of which will be determined after receiving proposals from the OSJD member railways.
Concluding the meeting, Chairman of the OSJD Committee thanked all the participants for their active joint work and wished everybody all the best, further development of railway transport for the economic prosperity of all OSJD countries and beneficial international cooperation.
* These delegations have participated in online mode only during the preparatory meeting of authorised representatives on 12-14.04.2023