Wagon Damage Settlement

Claim Settlement - Working Group

In the practice of settling en-route damage claims, new questions about the correct interpretation of the GCU contract regularly arise. The working group Claim Settlement clarifies these user questions.

The General Contract of Use of Wagons (GCU) does not only lay down technical and safety aspects of wagon utilisation but also the liability issues.

In the mass business of freight transport, damage to freight wagons occurs regularly. The financial settlement of these damages should be as simple and unambiguous as possible.

Who has to pay for which type of en-route damage? A broken braking block, for example, may stem from different causes, such as: Had the railway undertaking forgotten to release the parking brake before the departure? Had the workshop installed a non-suited block? You need to know what to ask! In practice, different interpretations of the GCU text repeatedly lead to disputes between contracting parties and ultimately to unproductive delays in the process.

The GCU offers general rules of liabilities of wagon keeper and railway undertaking as well as specific rules. However, in real life, these rules may not always be easy to adopt for concrete damage cases.

This working group delves into the causes of misunderstandings and/or different interpretations of the contract text and develops proposals on how to fix these issues by adapting the GCU text. This is being done by:

  • checking whether the rules of the GCU can be interpreted without contradicting the specific case
  • checking whether there are any amendments to the GCU and its appendixes
  • checking whether the further Agreement on freight Train Transfer Inspection (ATTI) has an influence on the proper allocation of damage to the responsible party
  • ongoing exchange of best practice among loss adjusters, as well as losses caused by the customer or terminal

UIC Contact
For any further information please contact: Christoph Gabrisch

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Wednesday 11 May 2022