COTIF 1999 enters into force

Berne, Switzerland – In the railway sector important legal changes are ahead. On 1st July 2006 a fundamentally revised version of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) will enter
into force. Initiation was the ratification of this Convention by Turkey which again demonstrated
which essential importance it allocates to rail transport. Continuously repeated new
initiatives for the establishment of railway links between Europe and Central Asia but also to
the Near and Middle East demonstrate that Turkey has become a focal point for the construction,
organization and development of a such transport services.

With the revision of COTIF, adopted 1999 in Vilnius, the Intergovernmental Organization for
International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), domiciled in Berne, responds to the development in the
railway sector which started with the privatisation of state owned railways and the market
entry of railroad undertakings which were funded thereafter, as well as the liberalisation of
cross border rail transport in the European Union. The revision of the Convention takes into
account, that in future the obligation of monopolistic enterprises to consumer friendly politics
are no longer in the foreground but the competition of private enterprises for customers and
market shares. Consequently a large number of binding regulations for rail way undertakings
will be reduced and scope for contractual agreements between undertakings active in the
railway sector and with their customers will be created.

As the Director General of the Organization explained on Thursday in Berne it will than be of
an utmost importance that the enterprises concerned will agree on such agreements constructively
to preserve the possibilities of the railway sector in competition for goods and passengers
with other modes of transport, especially road transport.

OTIF, with 42 Member States form Europe, North Africa, the Near and the Middle East, provides
with this for frame work conditions under which the growing responsibility of rail way
operators can spread out more openly. The creation of respective facilitations for the running
of international rail transport is the central objective of OTIF as an International Governmental
Organization. It will continue its respective endeavours to foster transport by rail as a productive,
efficient and environmental friendly mode of transport. Only in this way it will be possible
to shift transportation of cargos and passengers from road to rail by offering an attractive
and customer orientated alternative in international transportation which will lead to enhanced
mobility of services, goods and persons in a progressive way to support the general
economic development.