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Harmonised procedures boost rail sector across EU

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Harmonised procedures boost rail sector across EU

Railways

(BRUSSELS) - As of 31 October, Europe's rail sector will benefit from new harmonised procedures expected to significantly simplify procedures and reduce costs for railway undertakings operating across Europe.

These new rules complete the Fourth Railway Package, a series of measures to make European railways more efficient and competitive.

Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said she was counting on the Member States which haven't transposed it yet to do so very soon. "We are making rail more efficient, safe, affordable and thus more competitive vis-à-vis other modes of transport. This is a big step on our way to decarbonise Europe's transport sector and to make rail more attractive ahead of 2021 - the European Year of Rail."

The new rules will contribute to higher levels of interoperability, greater reliability and network capacity of the European rail sector. For example, the new simplified processes will create more competitiveness and innovation in the sector by making it easier for rail companies and manufacturers to operate or sell innovative technology in more than one Member State.

Additionally, it foresees a stronger role for the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), which will become Europe's single certification body for rail vehicles and railway traffic operators as of 31 October. Within its new role, the Agency will take responsibility for vehicle authorisation, safety certification, and European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) trackside approval across all Member States.

This is an important change for the European rail system. In the past, train operators, manufacturers or anyone who planned to operate in or sell to clients in more than one Member State, had to apply for vehicle authorisations and safety certificates separately in every Member State concerned. From 31 October onwards, only one application must be filed through ERA's One-Stop Shop IT tool (OSS).

The new, simplified procedure aims to reduce costs and administrative burden for the rail industry, it will make the European rail system more transparent, more efficient and therefore more competitive vis-à-vis other modes of transport. The harmonised processes contribute to higher levels of safety, interoperability and reliability in the European rail network. The unique approach for vehicle authorisation will also reduce time-to-market for emerging technologies.

ERA One-Stop Shop (OSS)

Fourth Railway Package

European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)


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