Rail Insurance and documentation

If you transport goods by rail, the Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) is the system of law which applies in the 45 states in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East that are members of OTIF, the International Organisation for International Carriage by Rail.

You should also be aware of the CIM consignment note that sets the conditions for transporting non-dangerous goods by rail. CIM rules mean that your carrier only takes responsibility for insuring your consignments against loss or damage from the time they take possession of them until they are delivered. If you transport dangerous goods that have a UN dangerous goods code, or that your carrier considers to be dangerous, you must complete a dangerous goods declaration. Part of this declaration is the Dangerous Goods Note.

For the rail transport of dangerous goods, Annex I of COTIF – ie the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID), sets the conditions under which rail transport is undertaken, including:

  • classification of dangerous goods
  • dangerous goods lists and any special provisions or exemptions
  • testing and use of packaging, intermediate bulk containers, large packaging and tanks
  • procedures relating to the consignment
  • conditions concerning the conditions of carriage, loading, unloading and handling

Cargo Insurance

General cargo insurance is available in three levels – clauses A, B or C. Air transport can also use the Institute Cargo Clauses (Air). The level of insurance is reflected in the premiums that must be paid. You should try and match the level of your insurance to the potential risk that your consignment is put under. Consult a broker or freight forwarder for advice. See the guide on insurance for international trade.

Documents and regulations

The Air Waybill sets out the contract between your business and the carrier you’re using. The e-freight project aims to remove all paperwork from air cargo transportation.

Please contact us for all your import/export business, as we get involved from start to finish.