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“The ILU-Code, a standardized identifier for intermodal loading units in Europe, is an important voluntary initiative supporting the competitiveness of Combined Transport. It is a very good example of paperless solution for stakeholders of these transport-chains.”

Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport


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1   Definitions and field of application

1.1 The ILU-Code Owner-Keys

The International Union for Road-Rail combined transport  scrl (hereafter: UIRR), established in Brussels, Belgium, rue Montoyer 31/11, allocates ILU-Code owner-keys for the marking of intermodal loading units (ILU) used in Europe (for example: swap bodies, non-ISO containers and semi-trailers).
The owner-keys will at all times remain UIRR’s property as Administrator of the ILU-Code according to the European standard EN 13044-1. The Holder of one or several owner-keys will have the sole right of use of this(these) key(s), pursuant to the following conditions and any condition that UIRR would add to the present contract.

1.2 The Applicants

Only Owners of intermodal loading units to be marked are allowed to apply for an ILU-Code Owner-key.
The term “Owner” includes a lessee or operator of intermodal loading units, provided such lessee or operator exercises full and exclusive control over intermodal loading units as though he was the actual Owner.
The same Applicant may obtain several owner-keys if UIRR considers the reasons submitted in writing to be satisfactory.
An owner-key may be registered by an Applicant who does not, at the moment of the registration, own intermodal loading units or does not yet mark his intermodal loading units with the owner-key applied for, provided the application is made with the bona fide intention of using the Code applied for within a reasonable time limit.

1.3 The Territory

Pursuant to the European Standard EN 13044-1, the usage of the ILU-Code is limited to the ILUs that are circulating in the European region only, whereby must be understood under “European region” European countries and close neighbouring countries which may be reached by road, rail, inland waterways or short sea shipping.

2   Registration procedure and consequences

2.1 Pre-registration of the Applicant

Before an Applicant can apply for an ILU-Code owner-key, a request must be sent to UIRR by filling out a registration form, in principle through the Internet (www.ilu-code.eu). UIRR will verify the legal existence of the Applicant and verify if all conditions of application for an ILU-Code owner-key are satisfied.
If the Applicant does not meet the conditions, UIRR will reject the registration.

2.2 Application and choice of an owner-key

If the Applicant meets the conditions, UIRR will send a confirmation of the pre-registration allowing the Applicant to apply directly for an owner-key  of his choice. When acknowledging receipt of the application, UIRR will state if the owner-key chosen is available. If not, the applicant will be invited to submit a new proposal.

2.3 Payment of the registration fee

The Applicant shall pay the registration fee only by bank transfer.
The registration fee has to be paid without delay: the reservation period, granted to allow the operations of payment, is limited to 15 days. If payment is not received within this period, the exclusive reservation of the owner-key is cancelled.

2.4 Allocation of an owner-key

After payment of the registration fee has been received, UIRR shall issue a registration certificate by email or, in case that the Applicant has chosen this option, by letter within 15 working days. With this act the Applicant becomes an owner-key Holder.
The registration certificate is not a certificate of ownership of an ILU-Code, but acknowledges that the four-letter ILU-Code Owner-key has been allocated to the owner-key Holder according to the standard EN 13044-1. As a consequence:

  • the owner-key Holder may mark all his intermodal loading units for use in Europe with the corresponding ILU-Codes as from the date of receipt of the ILU-Code owner-key certificate;
  • the protection of the exclusive title of the Holder of the ILU-Code owner-key is granted by UIRR to the Code-Holder. In case of an unauthorised use of a Code by another company, the owner-key Holder is invited to inform UIRR and provide it with all available information in order to enable UIRR’s intervention;
  • each intermodal loading unit marked with an ILU-Code is officially and Europe-wide known to be owned or operated by the Code-Holder as listed in UIRR’s Register of owner-keys, with all the related responsibility (legal, commercial, damage, insurance, etc.) of such property or operation.

In case of a transfer of ownership of one or several intermodal loading unit(s), the above-mentioned responsibility will remain taken on by the owner-key Holder until the moment when:

  • the ILU-Code marking is erased from the intermodal loading unit(s), or,
  • the ILU-Code marking is changed for another, of which the owner-key is duly registered by UIRR and held by the new owner, or,
  • the ILU-Code marking remains unchanged but with a duly registered new owner-key Holder, as a result of the transfer.

3   Transfer, renewal and cancellation of a Code

3.1 Transfer

It may occur that the totality of a fleet of intermodal loading units is transferred from a previous owner A to a new owner B. This may be the case, for example, with a specific purchase of such fleet, or through a global transfer of the assets of the company A (e.g.: merger, purchase of the company, etc.). To display the change of ownership of the fleet of intermodal loading units, the new owner B may then wish to register a new owner-key (or possibly use an owner-key it already owns); but in such a case it would have to re-mark all the intermodal loading units: this would be a long and costly process. In order to spare the new owner trouble, both the previous and the new owner may apply for an immediate transfer of the related Code from the former to the latter.
In such a case, transfer charges should be paid to UIRR by the new owner. The transfer charges are equal to the registration fee and will have to be paid according to articles 2 and 5.
The name and VAT change of the company which owns an owner-key is regarded as a transfer in the sense of the present article, leading to the obligation to transfer the owner-key from the company owning the owner-key to the new entity. The transfer costs are identical to the costs of the registration and must be paid in accordance with articles 2 and 5.

3.2 Renewal

The registration of an owner-key has to be renewed every two years. The owner-key Holders will receive notice 90 days prior to the expiry date of their Code by email. Within 30 days prior to the expiry date of their owner-key, UIRR will remind the owner-key Holders of the expiry date by registered letter. If the renewal has not been performed by the date of expiration, the owner-key will be removed from the official Register and the right of use of  this key by the holder will cease immediately.

3.3 Cancellation

UIRR shall cancel the registration of an owner-key (and remove it from the ILU-Code Register):

  • when requested to do so by the owner-key Holder,
  • following a ruling by a court,
  • when the renewal fee has not been paid,
  • if the Code-Holder has been declared bankrupt, insolvent, under liquidation, or if he is found guilty in fraudulent or other criminal activities,
  • if he misuses or does not comply with an ILU-Code owner-key in any way.

3.4 Noncompliant/wrong use of owner-keys

3.4.1 In case of the use of ILU-Codes which do not comply with the rules defined in the standard EN13044-1, or the use of an owner-key not listed in the official Codes Register, the UIRR will notify the owner of loading units, by registered letter, of the misuse of noncompliant codes and enjoin him to stop this misuse immediately or to sort out his situation. UIRR reserves the right to take the measures it will consider appropriate to put an end to this wrong/noncompliant use, including conservative measures. These measures will only be avoided if the company in question immediately removes any noncompliant marking from its units or if it carries out the registration according to the procedure described in article 2 of the present general terms.

3.4.2 In case of an unauthorized use of a Code following the expiry of the owner-key failing a renewal in due time, the owner will have to go through the registration procedure foreseen in article 2 of the present general terms and pay the registration fees in order to recover his owner-key, only if the latter is still available. If it is not available anymore, the owner will have to remove immediately any noncompliant marking from his units.

3.4.3 The Holder will have to remove his ILU-Code markings if:

  • the renewal fees of its owner-key are not paid in due time
  • the owner-key is not available anymore in the Register
  • the owner-key has never been recorded in the official Register
  • the owner-key does not comply with the regulations, (the 4th position has to be A,B,D,E or K)

4   Administration and publication

4.1 Amendments to ILU-Code Register

The owner-key Holder is responsible for keeping his address and contact details up-to-date, if necessary online via his Internet access, alternatively in writing to UIRR. UIRR may not be held liable for any damages caused by the official Register not reflecting the actual address and contact details of the owner-key Holder.

4.2 Publishing the codes

The owner-key Holder explicitly agrees that the registered owner-keys, including the names and addresses of their Holders, are gathered in an official Register that is published by UIRR and accessible via Internet (www.ilu-code.eu).
The website featuring also the owner-key Register is publicly accessible and may be consulted by third parties and other actors of the transport chain, such as customs, authorities, emergency services, etc. The owner-key Holder agrees to waive any and all claims against UIRR and hold the latter harmless in case of any misuse by third parties of this ILU-Code Register.
UIRR will not share with or divulge to any third party information about the Code-Holder other than the information that is kept in the ILU-Code register.

4.3 Exclusion of liability

UIRR declines any liability whatsoever regarding the traffic worthiness and the use of the intermodal loading units, the incorrect or fraudulent marking of intermodal loading units, the fraudulent or improper use of ILU-Codes by the owner-key Holder, the use of ILU-Codes by unauthorized persons or companies.

4.4 Mode of communication

All communication between UIRR and the Applicants and/or owner-key Holders usually takes place in electronic form via the Internet (www.ilu-code.eu). In case paper-based correspondence is chosen by the applicant, additional fees for printing and mailing may apply.

4.5 Disputes

Any dispute regarding conflicting rights to a particular Code (whether the ILU-Code owner-key has been applied for, reserved or registered) shall be immediately notified to UIRR. UIRR shall attempt to resolve the dispute by negotiating an agreement between the conflicting parties. If a dispute concerns a registered owner-key, the UIRR may keep the registration on hold until the dispute has been resolved.
If any part or any clause of the present contract is for whatever reason found to be infringing any law, regulation or judicial decision applicable to the contract, invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts or articles shall not be affected and shall remain valid and enforceable as if the illegal, invalid or unenforceable parts or clauses were not part of the contract. Any illegal, invalid or unenforceable part of the article shall be replaced by a provision that, inasmuch as this is legally possible, comes closest to what was initially aimed at in the part or clause concerned.
Any dispute between an applicant or an owner-key Holder and UIRR arising from these General Terms and Conditions, that cannot be resolved in an amicable way, will be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Brussels.

4.6 Applicable Law

The General Terms and Conditions are governed by the law of Belgium.

5   Schedule of charges

The one-time registration fee is EUR 250. The renewal fee, due every second year, is EUR 100.

ILU-Code, the European identifier of intermodal loading units

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