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OmniBUS Agreement must be concluded in 2011

Date

17 Feb 2011

Sections

Transport

IRU calls upon all stakeholders to conclude the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe OmniBUS Agreement on international regular bus and coach lines this year!

Geneva – Prior to the annual meeting of the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to be held on 1-3 March, and to the debate in the EU Council Working Group on Land Transport expected in Spring 2011, the IRU urges Governments, interested parties and EU institutions to step up their commitment and work on OmniBUS – a global multilateral agreement on the international regular transport of passengers by coach and bus – and conclude it in 2011!

The objective is to finalise the expert work on the draft agreement this summer, so that it could be submitted for approval by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party on Road Transport (SC.1) at its meeting in October this year.

IRU Vice President and President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council, Graham Smith, said: “Concluding the OmniBUS agreement this year is a litmus test for national authorities, international bodies and EU institutions working together in public-private partnership with the industry. Passing this test will be a concrete step towards considerably facilitating international bus and coach business and increasing the quality of its services, thus effectively contributing to achieve the objective of the Smart Move campaign of doubling the use of buses and coaches worldwide.”

As it stands now, the OmniBUS proposal integrates the best out of the current bilateral agreements and multi-lateral frameworks, such as the UNECE’s Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic and its Consolidated Resolution on the Facilitation of International Road Transport, as well as the Interbus Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus, concluded between the EU and a group of third countries. It also introduces the World Trade Organisation (WTO) principles and requirements for transparency.

As the OmniBUS proposal takes over the bulk of the most recent EU bus and coach acquis, as adopted in December 2009, in particular the key provisions regarding market access and procedures and conditions for issuing authorisations, there is no justifiable reason to further delaying its conclusion.

Indeed, once finalised and ratified, the OmniBUS Agreement is expected to considerably facilitate international bus and coach transport operations and improve the quality of services offered to passengers by harmonising the different types of authorisations required, harmonising controls and the duration of bilateral and transit authorisations; improving services to customers at terminals; and offering priority treatment to international regular bus and coach services and their customers at borders.

 

More on the Smart Move campaign

IRU OmniBUS Proposal submitted to the UNECE

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Press contact: Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07, press@iru.org

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