Activity: 4th Railway Package

The Technical Pillar brings a new approach to vehicle authorisation and single safety certification

The 4th Railway Package is a set of 6 EU legislative documents focusing on two main priorities for the Single European Railway Area: Technical Harmonisation and Governance Structures. 

The Technical Pillar consists of the revision of the Safety and Interoperability Directives and the new Regulation on the European Railway Agency. The Governance Pillar includes Regulations on opening domestic passenger rail markets, and the governance and accounts relationships between RUs and IMs.

The 4th Railway Package should provide for a simpler process for vehicle authorisation, safety certification, and smoother implementation of the technical specifications for interoperability.   Consequently the role of the European Railway Agency had to be reconsidered and enhanced as the Single European Authority for Vehicle Authorisation and Safety Certificates.

With regard to the governance and market opening proposals, after an adoption by the Council in October 2016, the European Parliament formally approved the package in December 2016. The directive and 2 regulations were officially published in the EU Official Journal on December 23rd, 2016. The pillar aims to open up domestic rail passenger markets in the member states. This includes offering train companies fair conditions for access to the rail network.

Significance to UIP and our Members

The priority for UIP remains with the Technical Pillar.  In order to achieve a competitive and transparent European railway market with technical harmonisation, conformity assessment, vehicle authorisation and safety certification at a European level, the streamlining of administrative procedures, setting clear roles and responsibilities, and the removing of superfluous national regulations should be assured and provided for.  Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to include and clearly define the role of Wagon Keepers and ECMs as actors within the railway system.

With regard to the Technical Pillar, UIP is already involved in the activities towards its implementation and more specifically the preparation of ERA for its future role as One Stop Shop (OSS) for Vehicle Authorisation (VA) and Single Safety Certification (SSC). This preparation process is expected to run in three phases from 2016 until 2018. The European Railway Agency, becoming the European Union Agency for Railway, should be fully operational for its new roles by 2019.
UIP together with GRB Partner Associations to maintaining an open dialogue to develop common proposals and recommendations on the implementing and delegated acts that will support the 4RP.

UIP also acts as a spokesperson to the Administrative Board of ERA, where strategic decisions are made regarding the future role of the agency, as well as on the its Multiannual and Annual Work Programme (SPD). UIP’s key role during this preparatory phase is to support and ensure that the deliverables, the new processes, rolesa and responsibilities but also tools reflect the appropriate framework and level playing field for the Wagon Keepers and their ECM(s).

UIP Documents

Joint Statement on the Fourth Railway Package Technical Pillar - April 2016
4th Railway Package’s Technical Pillar: a top priority for the railway sector - December 2013
4th Railway Package – Rail sector needs Technical Pillar - June 2013
4th Railway Package - UIP welcomes the publication of the package - January 2013

EU Documents of interest

4th Railway Package’s Market Pillar - Published texts - December 2016: Directive and Regulations
4th Railway Package’s Technical Pillar - Published texts - May 2016
4th Railway Package – Commission proposals of 2013

Tagged under 4th Railway Package