RZD (RUSSIAN RAILWAYS) AND UNIFE SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION ON THE INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY INDUSTRY STANDARD (IRIS)
The main activities foreseen for UNIFE and RZD in this MoU include: the establishment of a regular dialogue within the existing UNIFE/IRIS committees and the development and dissemination of the IRIS scheme in Russia and CIS. The overall goal of the activities outlined in the MoU signed today is to reinforce a favourable context for the development of the rail sector worldwide and especially in Russia and the CIS.
This MoU follows eight years of cooperation between UNIFE and the Russian Non-commercial Partnership “Union of Industries of Railway Equipment” (NP-UIRE), which began in 2007 when UNIFE first signed a MoU with NP-UIRE. In the past two years, the work between the two organisations has ramped up significantly. Most notably, this culminated in the publication of the Conformity Assessment and Authorisation of Railway Products in the Customs Union in the framework of Eurasian Economic Community and the European Union document which was officially announced with NP-UIRE in September 2014 in Berlin. Furthermore, this new MoU will focus on the continued promotion of the IRIS scheme in Russia and the CIS. At present, there are over 90 Russian companies that are IRIS certified, making it one of the largest IRIS certified markets in the world, which is largely a result of the past close cooperation between IRIS and RZD/NP-UIRE.
Philippe Citroën, Director-General of UNIFE, expressed his appreciation to NP-UIRE and RZD for the significant work carried out between UNIFE and its Russian counterparts, stating: “UNIFE is pleased to once again renew our commitment to cooperation with RZD and NP-UIRE for the betterment of the rail sector in Russia and CIS as well as throughout the world. We have seen many significant accomplishments, especially on IRIS, that have come out of this relationship over the past eight years and we look forward to further productive collaboration in the years to come.”
Valentin Gapanovich, Senior Vice-President of RZD, stated, “Russian Railways has coherently implemented, step by step, the IRIS standard in Russia with all major rolling stock manufacturers certified on IRIS requirements. Today, together with UNIFE, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation, which will give a new impetus for IRIS development and expand our cooperation in the field of harmonisation of technical legislation and information exchange. At present Russian Railways launched a pilot project for certification on the IRIS standard requirements of its structural units in the maintenance of high-speed motor-wagon rolling stock and repair of freight cars. With the announcement of the new scope of certification "Infrastructure" we expect further development of our enterprises and a significant improvement in product quality.”
IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard) complements the internationally recognised ISO 9001 quality standard introducing rail specific requirements and is modelled on similar quality standards already in place in the aerospace and automotive industries. IRIS aims to improve the quality and the reliability of the rail products, to implement and further develop a global system for the evaluation of companies supplying the rail sector, and to instil a culture of quality throughout the sector.
With almost 1200 companies IRIS-certified worldwide, the standard is now an international seal of quality, increasingly recognised by rail operators and manufacturers alike. The IRIS standard was developed by UNIFE members and the IRIS Management Centre is managed by UNIFE. For more information on IRIS, please visit www.iris-rail.org.