Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD)
Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD) - is an international specialized organization established on June 28, 1956 at the Meeting of Ministers of Railways. The Ministries of transport and state central authorities responsible for rail transport are representing member-states in the OSJD. The organization was created as a transport body of the The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, so at the beginning all the countries of the CMEA was included in it. After German Democratic Republic’s withdrawal from the OSJD and the accession to the organization the former Soviet Union countries, on January 1, 2000, 27 countries were members of the organization.
Major OSJD activities comprise:
- development and improvement of international railway transportation with the traffic between Europe and Asia including combined transportation;
- co-operation on the solution of the problems connected with the economic, information, scientific, technological and ecological aspects of railway transport;
- implementation of the Convention concerning International Passenger Traffic by Rail (SMPS), Convention concerning International Goods Traffic by Rail (SMGS), Rules of Reciprocal Use of Wagons in International Traffic (PPW) and other legal documents connected with the international railway traffic;
- formation of general principles of international transport law;
- co-operation in the field of railway operation and technical matters connected with further development of international railway traffic;
- dealing with economic problems of international cooperation of OSJD member states;
- collaboration with other international organizations, engaged in railway transportation matters, including those of combined transport.
The OSJD Ministers Conference (MC) is the supreme OSJD governing body. The Ministers Conference considers and takes decisions at the governmental level concerning all matters related to the OSJD field of activities: transport policy, economic aspects of transport, including combined transport; administration of agreements, related to international transportation; formation of general principles of international transport law; development of cooperation with other international organizations in the field of rail and combined transport.
The governing body of OSJD on railway cooperation is The Railway General Directors Conference. The Conference organizes work and makes decisions on the issues related to the OSJD within the capacity of railways and railway undertakings: international railway transportation between Europe and Asia, including combined transportation; exchange of information on the expected foreign trade transportations and the development of joint competitive proposals; establishment rules of wagons and containers usage in international traffic; arranging calculations between railways; development of cooperation with other international organizations; economy and finance of railways; technical and research problems.
The OSJD Committee is the executive body of the Organization.It provides control over OSJD activities in the period between the sessions of the Ministers Conference and General Directors Conference meetings. The Committee functions as a depository for the agreements and contracts concluded within the OSJD framework.The Committee is manned by the experts, appointed to the OSJD by its member countries. The Committee is headed by the Chairman, with two Deputy Chairmen and an Committee Secretary.
OSJD Committee Working Bodies:
- Permanent Commissions: Commission on Transport Policy and Development Strategy; Commission on Transport Law; Commission on Freight Traffic; Commission on Passenger Traffic; Commission on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock,
- Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on the issues of: direct rail freight traffic between countries in Europe and Asia; development of amendments and additions to the Rules of use of wagons; rates for the use of wagons; development of technical specifications for power supply and railroad trains with high-speed trains in Europe-Asia direction; paperless transportation technology; interaction of electronic reservation systems; transport corridors; making recommendations on the technical requirements for the installation and maintenance of Europe-Asia highway; development of the alphabetical part of the Sino-German-Russian thesaurus "Transport"; the issue of the approximation of the UMVD-CIM.
- Joint Working Groups with Other International Organizations: OSJD/ERA Contact Group on the subject:"Collaboration between ERA and OSJD on the analysis of the relationship between EU and non-EU rail systems of EU and non-EU states; Joint Working Group (Legal Group) of CIT/OSJD on CIM/SMGS transport law harmonization; OSJD/UNESCAP Joint Group on the project of container block train traffic development in communication between Europa and Asia; Joint OSJD/UIC Working Group "Coding and Information Technology".
Since 1958, the OSJD Committee has published the "OSJD Bulletin" magazine six times a year in Chinese, German and Russian languages. The OSJD Bulletins contain information about OSJD activities, publishing materials on current issues, including legal issues on the improvement and development of rail transport, covering information about exchanging of experience between railways in the field of operational activities, introduction of new technologies and advanced technologies, improvement of economic performance indicators.
Changing of the Regulation on the Organization of Cooperation of Railways at the XXI session of the Ministerial Conference (Warsaw, Poland, 1993) expanded the possibility of becoming a member of the OSJD to the central railway authorities, and provided other forms of participation in the OSJD, namely as an associate member and observer. The status of observers in the OSJD has the administration of the German, French and Greek railways.
Ukraine became a member of the OSJD in June 1992. Representative of Ukraine in this Organization is State Administration of Railway Transport of Ukraine (Ukrzaliznytsya). After the accession of Ukrzaliznytsia to the agreements concerning International Passenger Traffic by Rail (SMPS) and concerning International Goods Traffic by Rail (SMGS), the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on April 3, 1993 adopted a resolution No. 246 "On Agreements Concerning International Rail Freight and Passenger Transport" http://zakon3.rada.gov.ua/laws/ show / 246-93-% D0% BF, in which ordered the railways, sea shipping companies, shippers and consignees of Ukraine to ensure the implementation of these agreements.
Ukraine's participation in the OSJD has positive consequences and is a prerequisite for the integration of Ukraine's rail transport into the transport system of Europe and Asia.