img01On 2-4 September 2020, UNIDROIT Secretary-General Professor Ignacio Tirado and Deputy Secretary General Professor Anna Veneziano were invited to participate in the first meeting of the Group of Experts established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe for the Permanent Identification of Railway Rolling Stock .

The meeting also included delegations from the Rail Working Group and OTIF.

UNIDROIT was invited to attend as the Cape Town Convention, which took effect in 2006, created a new global system for the recognition, prioritization and enforcement of creditor and lessor rights under security lease or conditional sale agreements for certain types of movable equipment, based on registration of creditors’ rights in an international registry. The Luxembourg Rail Protocol applies the Cape Town Convention to all railway rolling stock and provides a global system for uniquely identifying the stock. It uses identification numbers issued by an international registry based in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg Rail Protocol is expected to enter into force in the near future.

The system allocating the unique identification numbers is known as the Unique Rail Vehicle Identification System (URVIS). Unique identification will have the benefit of facilitating tracking of the status and location of equipment in real time, enabling predictive maintenance programmes and supporting more efficient accident analysis for liability and insurance. Due to its broad impact, unique identification will be an important consideration also for countries who do not have a railway but wish to register railway rolling stock.

The URVIS number must be fixed permanently to the rolling stock but how this can be done has yet to be determined. The unique identifier should conform with current industry practice and anticipate technological and other advances in the future. To solve these challenges and to develop standards and recommendations for URVIS, the Inland Transport Committee’s Working Party on Rail Transport (SC.2) recommended the establishment of a Group of Experts on URVIS called the “Group of Experts on Permanent Identification of Railway Rolling Stock”.

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