On Friday 24 February, the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe adopted Model Rules on the Permanent Identification of Railway Rolling Stock in Geneva. These rules create a new voluntary standard and responsibilities for permanently attaching an URVIS (Unique Rail Vehicle Identification System) identifier to railway rolling stock, as required by the Luxembourg Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on Mobile Equipment (the Luxembourg Rail Protocol), which is expected to come into force later this year.
The Model Rules were developed by the Group of Experts established by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for the Permanent Identification of Railway Rolling Stock, which was established in 2020 and included delegations from UNIDROIT, OTIF and the Rail Working Group.
The Model Rules will play an important role in facilitating more secure and cheaper financing of all types of railway rolling stock once the Luxembourg Rail Protocol applies, as the security interests of creditors and lessors will be registered against the URVIS identifier issued by the registry.
The adoption of these rules follows the ratification last month by Spain of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol. This 4th ratification, plus that of the European Union, has opened the way for completion of the technical work needed to establish the international registry and ensure the entry into force of the treaty.