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Introduction and Status

Legal Instruments - Introduction and Status


Since its creation in 1947, UNECE Inland Transport Committee, has been a framework for intergovernmental cooperation and concerted action in order to facilitate international transport while improving its safety and environmental performance. The main results of the quiet, unspectacular but persevering and useful work of the UNECE member Governments, acting together for almost five decades now within the framework of the Committee, are reflected in 60 legal instruments which provide the international legal and technical framework for the development of international road, rail, inland waterway and combined transport in the UNECE region.

These international legal instruments, some of which are applied also by countries outside the UNECE region, address a wide array of transport issues which fall under the responsibility of Governments and which have an impact on international transport. This includes coherent international infrastructure networks, uniform and simplified border-crossing procedures and uniform rules and regulations aimed at ensuring a high level of efficiency, safety and environmental protection in transport.The vast majority of these legal instruments consist in agreements and conventions, which are legally binding for the States who become Contracting Parties to them.

While these legal instruments are important to all European countries, both Western and Eastern, they appear to be today of utmost importance for Governments of other member States of UNECE who need to build their transport regulations in line with those existing in the other European countries. Additionally they are applied by a large number of countries world wide. They are, therefore, a major European legacy to the whole international community.

The list of the United Nations legal instruments in the field of transport, as well as summary tables containing information on the status of these international legal instruments with regard to signatures, ratifications, accessions and acceptances by countries members of the United Nations, is reproduced below.


Status of United Nations Transport Legal Instruments

See here for the status in English, French and Russian


UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Transport Conventions under the purview of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee

English PDF (as of 2017)


For additional information on agreements and conventions

More detailed information with regard to the date of signatures, ratifications, accessions, reservations and declarations made by the various countries, as well as the complete text of the agreements and conventions and amendments thereto may be obtained from the United Nations Treaty Collection website (the status of Transport and Communications agreements and conventions can be found in Chapter XI).

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