Vienna Convention on Road Traffic

The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and to increase road safety by standardising the uniform traffic rules among the contracting parties.

This convention was agreed upon at the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Conference on Road Traffic (October 7, 1968 - November 8, 1968) and done in Vienna on 8 November 1968. This conference also produced the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

It entered into force on May 21, 1977.

Cross border vehicles

One of the main benefits of the convention for motorists is the obligation on signatory countries to recognise the legality of vehicles from other signatory countries. However, the following requirements must be met when driving outside the country of registration:
* Cars must display their registration number at the front and rear, even if legislation in the jurisdiction of registration does not require a front vehicle registration plate on cars. Motorcycles need display their registration number only at the rear. Registration numbers must be displayed in Latin characters and Arabic numerals. In addition to this, the registration number may optionally be displayed in a different alphabet.
* A distinguishing sign of the country of registration must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. The physical requirements for this sign are defined in Annex 3 of the convention, which states that it must comprise black writing on a white oval background and that it must not form part of the vehicle's registration number. In practice, the requirement to display the white oval is mutually waived between some countries, for example between many European countries (where the white oval may be substituted by a blue strip on the vehicle registration plate) and between Canada, the United States and Mexico (where the state or province of registration is usually embossed on the vehicle registration plate).
* The vehicle must meet all technical requirements to be legal for road use in the country of registration. Any conflicting technical requirements (e.g. right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive) in the signatory country where the vehicle is being driven do not apply.
* The driver must carry the vehicle's registration certificate, and if the vehicle is not registered in the name of an occupant of the vehicle (for example a hire car), proof of the driver's right to be in possession of the vehicle.

Mainland China is the most notable example of a non-signatory country. All foreign registered vehicles in mainland China must display a mainland Chinese vehicle registration plate. This requirement even applies to vehicles from China's special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

The convention also addresses minimum mechanical and safety equipment needed to be on board and defines an Identification mark (Annex 4) to identify the origin of the vehicle.

Contracting Parties

67 States at the date of 1 February 2007: Albania, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgystan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

International conventions on transit transport

The broad objective of these International Conventions and Agreements, the Depositary of which is the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is to facilitate international transport while providing for a high level of safety, security and environmental protection in transport [ [ 2004 Treaty Seminar Issues Notes ] ] :

* Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be used for such Carriage (1970).
* Convention on Customs Treatment of Pool Containers Used in International Transport (1994).
* Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods By Road (1956) and its Protocol (1978).
* Convention concerning Customs Facilities for Touring (1954).
* Customs Convention on Containers (1972).
* Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation of Commercial Road Vehicles (1956).
* Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation of Private Road Vehicles (1954).
* European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)(1957) and its Protocol amending articles 1 and 14 (1993).
* Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949).
* European Agreement concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles engaged in International Road Transport (1970).
* International Convention to Facilitate the Crossing of Frontiers for Passengers and Baggage carried by Rail (1952).
* International Convention to Facilitate the Crossing of Frontiers for Goods Carried by Rail (1952).
* International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods (1982).
* TIR Convention.

ee also

* Geneva Convention on Road Traffic
* International Driving Permit.
* Rules of the road.


[ 2. List of Contracting Parties to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic]

External links

* [ Text, incorporating the amendments (PDF)]
* [ Distinguishing signs used on vehicles in international traffic (status as at 15 February 2007)] .

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