iChongqing Title

CFTZ Promotes Internationally-Applicable Railway Consignment Notes


The China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) has been making the railway consignment notes the documents of title for the past few years, with a target of continuing to create a world-class business environment, according to the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce recently.

A picture of China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone. (iChongqing/ file photo)

Taking this opportunity, it endeavors to set rules for overland international trade. The Ministry of Commerce spoke highly of the efforts and experiences of CFTZ on promoting the railway consignment notes the documents of title.

The 52nd Session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted the proposal of Solving the Problems of Railway Consignment Notes which Are not of the Same Nature as Documents of Title, submitted by the Ministry of Commerce, on behalf of the Chinese government.

This will contribute to the amendment and perfection of relevant international rules, as well as the improvement of China’s voice in international trade systems.

Promoting international application

Creating railway consignment notes and promoting international application, CFTZ developed the nature as documents of title and transference function and boosted the application of railway consignment notes.

By July this year, it has issued 85 railway consignment notes for cargos valued at 22.53 million euros, realizing convenient and regular utilization of railway consignment notes for financing and settlement.

Innovating formation of a standard document system

CFTZ tried to find ways to establish a standard document system. It compiled the Code of Operation for International Freight Forwarder in Railway Multimodal Transport, Service Quality Requirements for Automobile Freight Forwarders, and Risk Control of Goods Delivery and Payment in International Trade.

The three standards were approved by the Standardization Administration and came into force on October 1, 2020. The innovations are about the core documents, document system, and application rules.

Perfecting laws on railway consignment notes

CFTZ also promulgated laws on railway consignment notes.

The Regulations of China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone clarifies that “CFTZ should actively set overland trade rules, and innovate railway consignment notes and supporting rules”, “CFTZ should intensify regional cooperation and stimulate promotion and application of railway consignment notes, which are of the same nature as documents of title.”

Meanwhile, CFTZ has set up the country’s first comprehensive and specialized pilot free trade zone court, to support the exploration of international overland trade rules.

Reaching consensus among international organizations

With efforts to involve international organizations in this field, CFTZ has reached a consensus for cooperation with the CAREC Federation of Carrier and Forwarder Associations (CFCFA).

The two parties encouraged UNCITRAL to do relevant researches, helped the Ministry of Commerce and UNCITRAL hold the High-Level Symposium on the Use of Railway Consignment Note and the Future Legal Framework of International Trade.

A picture of Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)


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