UNIDROIT and OTIF announce Entry into Force of Luxembourg Rail Protocol

On 8 March 2024, at a special intergovernmental meeting at the Universal Postal Union in Bern, Switzerland, the Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment formally entered into force. The ceremony follows the successful conclusion of the 12th and final session of the Preparatory Commission, during which the documents related to the functioning of the Supervisory Authority, as well as the Registry Regulations and Procedures were approved, allowing the formal deposit of a certificate from OTIF with UNIDROIT regarding the functioning of the International Registry pursuant to Article XII, paragraph 8 of the Luxembourg Protocol. The Luxembourg-based public international registry is now operational 24/7 and able to accredit users, allocate unique (URVIS) numbers for rolling stock, accept registrations of security interests, and facilitate searches against these interests.


“The entry into force of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol is an extraordinary achievement that supports urgently needed access to private credit for the rail industry” said Ignacio Tirado, Secretary General of UNIDROIT, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law. “At a time when an increasing number of states seek to implement transport policies that contribute towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Protocol is a key instrument, recognized by regional bodies including UNECA, the African Union, UNECE and the EU. UNIDROIT believes that the Luxembourg Rail Protocol has the potential to unlock enormous benefits for all stakeholders as its ratification rolls out around the world”.


“The entry into force of the Luxembourg Protocol is great milestone for OTIF that has been reached” said Wolfgang Küpper, Secretary General of OTIF, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail. “The Supervisory Authority is established, the International Registry is going live. For OTIF the task of the Secretariat will be new and challenging, because it will be quite different from its existing task namely to promote, improve, and facilitate international traffic by rail in all aspect. I am convinced that the new global task in the framework of the Luxembourg Protocol will help interested states to better understand the role and the full portfolio offered by OTIF. Governments and the railway industry can no longer afford not to use additional financing instruments. This is where the Luxembourg Protocol fits in perfectly.”


“This is a momentous day for the rail industry,” said Rail Working Group Chairman Howard Rosen. “It opens up new possibilities for the private sector to  provide much-needed and cheaper financing for railway rolling stock around the world. With the clear social, economic, and environmental benefits of moving the transportation of goods and people onto the railways, and public funding nearly always limited, governments now need to move forward at the earliest opportunity to ratify the Protocol.”


“We are pleased to launch the International Registry of Interests in Rolling Stock — providing new opportunities for sector advancement and protection on the international stage,” said ISC President and CEO, Shawn Peters. ISC is the parent company of the newly appointed Registrar for the International Registry, Regulis SA. “Both ISC and Regulis are proud of the economic and environmental impact the Rolling Stock Registry will have as it supports the growth of the global rail sector by providing a trusted source for interests in rolling stock. We value our partnerships with UNIDROIT, OTIF, and the Rail Working Group, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders who will benefit from the Registry, as well as growing the registry in the years to come.”

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