Basel, 3 December 2013. In an endeavor to promote rail traffic between East and West along the international rail corridors, the Association of European Trans-Siberia Operators (Gemeinschaft der Europäischen Transsibirien Operateure - GETO) and the Berne, Switzerland, based International Rail Transport Committee (Comité International des Transports par Chemin de Fer - CIT) recently signed a "Memorandum of Cooperation".
The cooperation between the two organizations comprises diverse initiatives to promote, first and foremost, international traffics via the Trans-Siberian railway corridor. The cooperation applies, among others, to proposals geared towards improving tariff structures and customs procedures, but also towards increasing the competiveness of international rail traffic in general.
Another major concern is enforcing a wider use, and also a simplification, of the combined CIM/SMGS consignment note. This waybill was developed by CIT; GETO member companies have substantially supported its practical implementation. Both organizations want to cooperate on developing a harmonized legal framework regulating the transport process along international transport corridors. The cooperation will also cover questions concerning the planning and organizing of test runs for container block trains in international traffic, as well as related pilot projects such as paperless documentation and variable, gauge-changeable operations. Moreover, GETO and CIT have agreed to exchange information regularly by organizing seminars and task forces together. Since it was founded in 1978, GETO has been dealing with East-West rail traffics.
Today, GETO's members are not only renowned operators, but also internationally experienced forwarders and logistics companies from different European countries. Then, as now, GETO focusses mainly on transit traffics via the Trans-Siberian railway corridor. Yet the immense importance of serviceable train connections has broadened the view: GETO members are contributing - in a constructive and innovative way - to the general development of international traffics between Western Europe and Russia, other CIS nations, Central Asia, China, and the Far East.
The International Rail Transport Committee CIT is an association of about 200 rail and shipping companies operating in cross-border passenger or freight traffic. 130 companies are direct members of CIT, 80 others are indirectly linked to CIT through associated organizations. CIT implements the international legislation on rail transportation in the rail freight sector. To this end, CIT produces and maintains documents and instruments for international railway traffic, standardizes the working relationships between customer, transport company, and infra-structure operator, represents the interests of rail freight forwarders vis-à-vis legislators and authorities, and guarantees the competent and timely information, training, and legal advice of its members.