EUROPE: The European Union Agency for Railways has taken on responsibility for vehicle authorisation, safety certification and ERTMS trackside system approval with effect from June 16, opening what it called ‘a new era of single and simplified authorisation and certification processes in Europe’.
This forms part of the technical pillar of the EU’s Fourth Railway Package of legislation. ERA Executive Director Dr Josef Doppelbauer said the simplified processes would help to improve rail’s competitive position by reducing the ‘technical barriers and excessive cost’ that have hampered progress.
Cross-border operators can use ERA’s ‘one-stop shop’ tool to access a single integrated process to obtain vehicle authorisations, single safety certificates or to request ERTMS approval. ERA then assigns a project manager as the personal contact to advise the applicant throughout the process.
Bulgaria, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovenia have adopted the new regime, and Switzerland is using it on a case-by-case basis, although the country is not an EU member. Other member states with railways will transpose the legislation by June 2020.