For many years, ČD Cargo has been focusing on the cooperation with Eastern European states, and for this purpose it supports and promotes the unified consignment note CIM/SMGS.

During the railway transport to the „East" (simply the CIS states, China, etc.), it is necessary to tranship the goods from standard gauge wagons (1435 mm) to broad gauge wagons (1520 mm), and complete then so called reconsignment, i.e. data transfer from CN CIM to CN SMGS. Analogical situation is in the opposite direction, i.e. during the import from that countries. The matter of reconsignment results from the existence of two carriage rights,  Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), which, together with Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract of International Carriage of Goods by Rail (CIM), controls the „Western" countries, and Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS), applies in CIS countries and some European and Asian countries.

At the end of the nineties, involved international organization (OSJD, OTIF) participated, and the International Rail Transport Committee coordinated the unification by means of creating a new consignment note CIM/SMGS. This new consignment note which combines the consignment notes CIM and SMGS, became valid on 01.09.06. Since then, individual carriers, or more precisely consignors can use it.

The use of combined consignment note CIM/SMGS introduces three main advantages:

  1. Reduction of costs of consignors for reconsignment (approx 40 EUR/CN)
  2. Acceleration of transport (approx 40 min/CN)
  3. Increases the quality of the transport process by preventing errors during the CN transcription (the errors cannot be objectively avoided during the CN transcription in case of large volumes).

The consignment note as indicated by statistics of ČD Cargo, and also of other railways e.g. RZD and UZ, grew in popularity. In ČD Cargo, the use of CN CIM/SMGS is predominant during the export to Russian Federation, where the note is used in almost 90% of all completed shipments. During the import from Russian Federation, where the consent of all participating subjects is necessary, reaches 30% of use.

In the beginning of the new „product" implementation, it was necessary to pre-agree all shipments. on the consignment note CIM/SMGS with the interested parties, i.e. the customers and participating railways. Currently, it is not necessary to pre-agree all transports – specific rules are specified in the CIM/SMGS Consignment Note Manual , which can be received in electronic format on pages Special attention is required for the transport of dangerous goods (RID), where it is necessary to ensure that the consignor during the export from the Czech Republic correctly specifies the description of the goods as per annex 2 to SMGS (Rules for the Transport of Dangerous Goods).

CIM/SMGS Consignment Note Manual (GLV-CIM/SMGS)
Specimen of the CIM/SMGS consignment note
CIM/SMGS wagon list (printed form)
CIM/SMGS container list (printed form)


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