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.

Legal Acts adopted


Document Where to find it Available language(s)
Cluster: IOD & RSD Directives
New Safety Directive
Directive (EU) 2016/798 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on railway safety (recast) All languages
“Old”Safety Directive
Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on the Community’s railways (Railway Safety Directive) All languages
New Interoperability Directive
DIRECTIVE (EU) 2016/797 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the interoperability of the rail system within the European Union All languages
“Old”Interoperability Directive
Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (repealing Directives 96/48/EC and 2001/16/EC from 19 July 2010); All languages
Cluster: ERA Regulation
Regulation (EU) 2016/796 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Railways and repealing Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 All languages
Cluster: TSIs
TSIs in force
(+ Application Guides) All languages
Mandate for the TSI revision All languages
Cluster: Vehicle Authorisation
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/545 of 4 April 2018 establishing practical arrangements for the railway vehicle authorisation and railway vehicle type authorisation All languages
Guidelines for the practical arrangements for the vehicle authorisation process (new)  English
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/250 of 12 February 2019 on the templates for ‘EC’ declarations and certificates for railway interoperability constituents and subsystems, on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised railway vehicle type and on the ‘EC’ verification procedures for subsystems All languages
Cluster: Safety Certification
COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) establishing practical arrangements for issuing single safety certificates to railway undertakings All languages
Application Guide (Final document not yet available)
Work in progress
Cluster: Safety Authorisation
Draft COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION on practical arrangements for issuing safety authorisations to infrastructure managers Draft (Final document not yet available)
Work in progress
COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) …/... establishing common safety methods on safety management system requirements All languages
Cluster: ERTMS
Draft Commission Recommendation on guidance for the harmonised implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System in the Union Draft (Final document not yet available)
Work in progress
Cluster: Board(s) of Appeal
Commission Implementing Regulation laying down the rules of procedure of the Board(s) of Appeal of the European Union Agency for Railways All languages
Cluster: Fees and Charges
Commission Implementing Regulation on the fees and charges payable to the European Union Agency for railways and their conditions of payment  All languages
Cluster: EVR
COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING ACT on the specification for the European Vehicle Register referred to in Article 47 of Directive (EU) 2016/797 and repealing Decision 2007/756/EC  All languages
Cluster: Revision of ECM Regulation
Revision of Regulation 445/2011 and scope extension (Final document not yet available)
To be voted by RISC in January 2019

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

ERA FAQ - 4th Railway Package
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