to the Governments of Europe and Asia and to international organizations
(according to the list)

March 12-15, 2013

The Participants of the 4th International Conference on Freight Rail Traffic from Asia to Europe and of the Eurasian Rail Forum, which gathered in Prague on the 12–15 March 2013, after addressing the state of railway freight and passenger transportations in the Eurasian region, noted the positive results of the endeavours, directed at increased competitiveness and efficiency of rail transport, development of rail transport corridors and outlined the next steps in this direction.

The Participants emphasize importance of the work on harmonization of rail law, related to the realization of the project on development and implementation of the unified consignment note CIM/SMGS. They note the efficiency of the creation of container main traffic. Information on the Joint Declaration on the Promotion of the Euro-Asian Rail Transport and Activities towards Unified Railway Law, signed by the Ministers of Transport on February 26, 2013 in the headquarters of the UNECE in Geneva, was received with a strong support. The initiative of the EU to switch from road transportation to rail transportation is welcomed. At the same time, it is noted that there is a need for a more
efficient use of rail transport and state support of its operation.

Taking into consideration previous discussions, the participants turn attention to the conclusions of an independent research, carried out among others by CER (Communauté européenne du rail), showing the need for each country to choose a form of operation of rail infrastructure and carriage activities independently, based on the economic viability, the balance of interests of state and business actors and other criteria.

Bearing the aforementioned in mind the participants of the Forum:

  • Express their support for the movement, started by the UNECE, for the creation of unified railway law;
  • Approve the initiatives of the European Union on the switch from road transportation to railway transportation;
  • Support initiatives for the development of Eurasian rail traffic corridors;
  • Support levelling of the playing field in order to ensure competitiveness of rail transport in relation to other alternative means of transport;
  • Turn attention to the need of facilitation of border crossings;
  • Ask to facilitate the implementation of the new Annex 9 to the International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods 1982;
  • Urge to promote the development of railways in all possible ways and to invest in project related thereto.

The Appeal was unanimously adopted  by participants from 31 countries:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belarus, Czech Republic, China, France, Georgia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Morocco, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain , Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom and representatives of the OSJD, CIT, UIC, CCTT, CER and UNIFE.

The Appeal is sent to following countries and institutions:

Albania, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Croatia, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kazakhstan , Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vietnam
and representatives of UNECE, ESCAP, EU, OSJD, EurAsEC (EAEC), CIT, UIC, CCTT, ERA, CER, UNIFE, OTIF and WCO.