· Rail Preparatory Commission and negotiations team
· Sixth Session of the Preparatory Commission
· Appointment of Regulis SA as Registrar
· Seventh Session of the Preparatory Commission (11 December 2014)
· Ratification Task Force Meetings and Rail Working Group activities
· Signature of the United Kingdom
· Rail Luxembourg Protocol presented at Railways Workshop in India
· Symposium for UNIDROIT member States and States parties to the
Cape Town Convention
· Draft Regulations for the International Registry
Rail Preparatory Commission and negotiations team
A Preparatory Commission for the establishment of an International Registry under the Luxembourg Protocol was set up by Resolution No. 1 of the Luxembourg diplomatic Conference on 23 February 2007.
After its last plenary session in 2011, the Preparatory Commission appointed a team, co-chaired by Peter Bloch (USA) and Mervi Kaikkonen (Finland), to conduct negotiations with SITA SA for the conclusion of the contract with the Registrar. The negotiations were successfully concluded in July 2014 with the approval of the draft Registry Contract, the Master Services Agreement and their appendixes and annexes.
Sixth Session of the Preparatory Commission
The Sixth Session of the Preparatory Commission, convened jointly by UNIDROIT and the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), with the participation of members with voting rights only, took place via the email confirmation procedure under Rule 16 of the Rules of Procedure of the Preparatory Commission, to approve the draft contracts, their annexed schedules and related documents (software security agreement; deed of business continuity), for the establishment and operation of the International Registry for railway rolling stock. The Sixth Session of the Preparatory Commission was concluded on 31 October 2014 with the approval of the above-mentioned contractual documents
Appointment of Regulis SA as Registrar
A significant milestone in the establishment of a Rail Registry for International Interests was reached on 12 November 2014, when Regulis SA, a SITA company, and the Secretary-General of UNIDROIT on behalf of the Preparatory Commission signed the Contract for the Establishment and Operation of the International Registry which had been approved by the Preparatory Commission in its Sixth Session.
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|From the left: Michel Grethen (First Secretary
of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Rome), Anna Veneziano (Deputy Secretary-General of
UNIDROIT), José Angelo Estrella-Faria
(Secretary-General of UNIDROIT), Elizabeth
Hirst (Managing Director, Regulis SA), Rick
Coffelt (GSL Delivery and Operations – SITA),
Andy Smith (UK Account Director – SITA)
Seventh Session of the Preparatory Commission (11 December 2014)
The Seventh Session of the Rail Preparatory Commission was held in Rome at the seat of UNIDROIT on 11 December 2014. The meeting, convened jointly by UNIDROIT and OTIF and co-chaired by Peter Bloch (USA) and Tuire Simonen (Finland), took note of the positive outcome of the Sixth Session as well as of the signature of the contract between the Preparatory Commission and Regulis SA. The draft baseline Regulations for the International Registry for railway rolling stock were discussed and approved. The planning of future work was also considered. In addition to UNIDROIT, OTIF and the Rail Working Group, representatives of several member States were present, as were SITA and the designated Registrar for Regulis SA. A representative of the European Commission also attended the meeting, the European Union recently having approved the Rail Protocol.
Ratification Task Force Meetings and Rail Working Group activities
The Ratification Task Force set up by the Rail Preparatory Commission for the establishment of an International Registry under the Luxembourg Protocol met in Brussels on 25 March, with the main view of setting priorities for approaching governments and involving stakeholders in prospective ratifying States.
Participants in the meeting included the joint chairs of the Preparatory Commission Peter Bloch (USA) and Tuire Simonen (Finland) - as well as representatives of OTIF, UNIDROIT, the Rail Working Group, SITA and the Registrar-designate Regulis SA. The Luxembourg Government also represented at the March meeting and formally joined the Ratification Task Force.-
The RTF planned a detailed ratification strategy and an intense agenda for its work for the purpose of reaching within a reasonable timeframe the number of adhesions required for the entry into force of the Protocol and the operability of the international Registry.
On its part, the Rail Working Group organised in 2015 and is planning to hold in 2016 a number of important events in different countries to promote the Rail Protocol.
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Signature of the United Kingdom
On 26 February 2016, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is already a Party to the Cape Town Convention and the Aircraft Protocol, signed the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, which was adopted in February 2007 at a diplomatic Conference held in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg Rail Protocol will enter into force when the conditions set out in Article XXIII(1) of the Rail Protocol have been satisfied.
H.E. Mr Christopher Norman Russel Prentice, Ambassador of the United Kingdom, signed the Luxembourg Rail Protocol at a ceremony held at the seat of UNIDROIT in Rome. Mr José Angelo Estrella Faria, the UNIDROIT Secretary-General, recalling the comments he made when the UK acceded to the Cape Town Convention, noted that the United Kingdom's approach to the ratification of treaties on private law matters “is known for being highly prudent and pragmatic”. He saw in the United Kingdom’s signature of the Rail Protocol another demonstration of both the high quality of the Convention as well as the tangible economic benefits it generates.
H.E. Christopher Norman Russel Prentice,
|Handshake between H.E. Christopher Norman
Russel Prentice, Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland to Italy and Mr José Angelo
Estrella Faria, Secretary-General of UNIDROIT.
Rail Luxembourg Protocol presented at Railways Workshop in India
The Deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT took part in a Workshop organised by the US Department of Transport and Indian Railways in Delhi from 18 to 20 October 2016. A session of the Workshop was specifically devoted to the presentation of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, with the joint participation of UNIDROIT Deputy Secretary General, Prof Anna Veneziano, Mr Peter Bloch (Chair of the Ratification Task Force), Mr Howard Rosen (Chair of the Rail Working Group), and Ms Elizabeth Hirst (Managing Director, Regulis SA – Registrar Designate). The Workshop was attended by numerous delegates from the United States of America, India, and other Asian jurisdictions.
Symposium for UNIDROIT member States and States parties to the Cape Town Convention (Rome, 30 November 2016)
A Symposium was held in Rome at the seat of Unidroit on Wednesday 30 November to address the latest developments regarding the Luxembourg Rail Protocol and the benefits of becoming a party thereto. The symposium was open to appointed government officials of all UNIDROIT member States and States parties to the Cape Town Convention, and garnered the participation of over 50 delegates representing these States and Industry Stakeholders. The Secretary-General of UNIDROIT, Mr José Angelo Estrella Faria and the Secretary-General of OTIF, Mr Francois Davenne, opened the event, which featured panels focussing on the Emerging Opportunities of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, Updates from the Ratification Task Force, and a Roundtable on the benefits of the Protocol for the financing in the rail sector. The audience heard perspectives on these topics from panellists Mr Howard Rosen (Chairman of the Rail Working Group), Ms Elizabeth Hirst (Registrar Designate of the International Registry), Mr Peter Bloch and Ms Mervi Kaikkonen (Co-Chairs of the Preparatory Commission and Ratification Task Force). The Panels were followed by a Roundtable on the benefits of the Protocol for the financing in the rail sector with Mr Olivier Desfontaines, Head of Railway Finance at Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Ms Roberta Odoardi, Director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, chaired by Mr Howard Rosen. The Symposium also benefitted from a statement provided by the Ambassador of Mozambique, H.E. Maria Manuela Lucas, reiterating the importance of Mozambique’s recent signature and its intention to proceed to ratification.