Expert meeting of the OSJD Commission on Transport Law on SMGS issues (press release)


According to the Work Plan of the OSJD Commission on Transport Law, an expert meeting of the OSJD Commission on Transport Law on SMGS issues was held in Astana (Republic of Kazakhstan) from 2 to 5 April 2024.

The meeting was attended by experts from the following SMGS member countries: Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Hungary, Georgia, Republic of Kazakhstan, People’s Republic of China, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Republic of Poland, Russian Federation and the OSJD Committee.

The participants of the meeting were welcomed by Mr Aktan Rabayev, Head of the Department of the Committee of Railway and Water Transport of the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In his speech, Mr Rabayev presented information on the projects implemented by the Republic of Kazakhstan on the development of international railway freight traffic and noted the importance of the work carried out within the framework of OSJD and the Commission on Transport Law for the development of transport potential of the member countries of the Organisation.

During the meeting, the participants considered proposals for amendments and additions to SMGS and SI to SMGS received from SMGS participants. In particular, to Articles 24 “Time for delivery of goods” and 46 “Claims” of the SMGS, paragraphs 4 “Number of packages and weight of goods”, 8 “Explanatory notes on the content of the consignment note”, 40 “Claims procedure” of Annex 1 “Rules for the carriage of goods” to the SMGS. The participants of the meeting also discussed the advisability of continuing work on amendments to item 9.3. of SI to SMGS relating to the calculation of the delivery time and the amount of compensation for exceeding the delivery time.

Special attention was paid to the draft comprehensive amendments to SMGS and SI to SMGS related to transportation under one consignment note when a consignment follows several railway sections connected by waterways. The participants of the meeting discussed differentiation of the terms “carriage of goods in direct international rail-ferry traffic” and “carriage of goods in direct international rail-water traffic”, issues of extending the scope of application of the SMGS when carrying out waterway traffic, amendments to Articles 4, 24, 39 of the SMGS, Paragraph 8 and Subparagraphs 15.4.2. and 16.5.2. of Annex 1 to the SMGS, Paragraphs 3.2.1. and 3.2.2. of Annex 4 to the SMGS. The questions of application of the terms “port” and “ship”, restrictions on amendments to the contract of carriage for a carrier on a waterway section, and the extension of the SMGS Service Instructions to carriers providing carriage on a waterway section were also considered.

Within the framework of the meeting the participants were provided with the information on the results of the work of the meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the issues of the document of title to the goods, which was held on 19-22 February 2024.

The next expert meeting of the OSJD Commission on Transport Law on SMGS issues will be held on 23-26 July 2024, in the OSJD Committee (Warsaw, Republic of Poland).