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Legal expertise
for the benefit of the railways

The CIT’s tasks

CIT helps railway undertakings implement international transport law, standardising contractual relationships and creating legal certainty to save members money and support their business.

CIT Strategy 2025

CIT Strategy 2025

How the work is organised

The annual General Assembly decides the strategic objectives, approves the budget and the annual accounts and elects the committees. The Executive Committee is the body which directs the operations and administration and oversees the Secretary General. The General Secretariat employs five in-house lawyers, two railway experts and two secretaries. The main working bodies of the CIT are the CIV Committee (passenger traffic), CIM Committee (freight traffic) and the CUI Committee (use of infrastructure) and multimodality. Working groups prepare recommendations for approval by the committees.


Members of the CIT pay subscriptions to support the costs of the association in proportion to the volume of international passenger traffic (around € 24 per million passenger kilometres) and/or freight traffic (around € 7 per million net tonne kilometres) they move. The minimum annual subscription is approximately € 1 700. Each full member has one vote, independent of the level of his subscription.

Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2020

3 Editorial
4 The CIT
8 Transport law and transport policy
12 International passenger traffic
16 International freight traffic
20 Use of infrastructure
24 Multimodality
28 Domestic matters
32 Income statement and balance sheet
34 Appendix to the Annual Accounts

Annual Report 2020 [PDF]

History of the CIT

Shortly after the Convention concerning the International Carriage of Goods by Rail came into force at the beginning of 1893, the railway companies of the majority of the Member States thought it necessary to co-operate more closely to facilitate the practical implementation of the convention. The International Rail Transport Committee was founded in 1902.

The overriding objective of the association was to help railways apply the convention concerning the carriage of goods consistently and then subsequently likewise for the parallel convention on the carriage of passengers and luggage (which entered into force in 1928).

To achieve this, the CIT drew up standard instructions to augment and explain the legal texts, set up various agreements to define the legal relationships between the railways and produced practical instructions for the use of staff in the field.
The CIT also contributed significantly to the work of revising the conventions as that from time to time became necessary.

The management of the CIT, undertaken by the Austrian State Railways until 1914, was taken over by the Swiss Federal Railways in 1921.

The two world wars and the other political events which shook Europe during the twentieth century seriously disrupted the application of international rail transport law. Nevertheless each time, once circumstances permitted, the CIT worked together with other international organisations to re-establish legal certainty.

Over the last few decades, political, economic, technical and legal evolution has required the activities of the organisation to become even more diversified. These developments culminated at the end of the last century with the most significant reform ever made to international railway law - to make COTIF compatible with Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the European Union's railways.

The CIT was set up as a legal entity in its own right in 2004; it is now an association under Swiss law and is based in Bern.


Jan. 1, 2022

CIT Statutes

The International Rail Transport Committee (CIT) is an association under Swiss law. It is a legal entity in its own right and is based in Bern. The objectives of the CIT are:

a) to transpose and to apply the international law of carriage by rail, and in particular the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) in a standardised way;

b) within that framework, to develop close working relationships between members, to represent the interests of members, to provide other services (advice, training, organisation of events, etc).

Applicable with effect from 1 January 2005 / Edition 1 January 2022.

9 pages

Legal expertise November 2012
Nov. 1, 2012

Legal expertise

Competition law guidelines
Sept. 17, 2015

Competition law guidelines


These guidelines aim to make sure that the CIT and its Members act in conformity with competition law when working for the association. The guidelines are aimed at the staff of the General Secretariat and members of the CIT’s bodies.

Applicable with effect from 17 September 2015

3 pages

Financial Regulation
May 15, 2007

Financial Regulation


This regulation sets down how the finances of the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT) are to be managed.

Applicable from 1 January 2004 / Edition 15 May 2007

6 pages

Annual report 2019
May 10, 2020

CIT Annual Report


English version of the 2019 Annual Report

May 2020

Annual Report 2018
May 10, 2019

CIT Annual Report


English version of the 2018 Annual Report

May 2019

Annual Report 2017
May 2, 2018

CIT Annual Report


English version of the 2017 Annual Report

May 2018

Annual Report 2016
May 10, 2017

CIT Annual Report


English version of the 2016 Annual Report

May 2017

Annual Report 2015
May 18, 2017

CIT Annual Report

English version of the 2015 Annual Report.

May 2016

Annual Report 2014
May 15, 2017

CIT Annual Report

Three language version of the 2014 Annual Report.

May 2015

Annual Report 2013
May 23, 2014

CIT Annual Report

Three language version of the 2013 Annual Report.

May 2014

52 pages

Annual Report 2012
May 27, 2013

CIT Annual Report

Three language version of the 2012 Annual Report.

30 May 2013

66 pages