New Railway Legislation Effective
On June 15, 2016, the technical pillar of the 4th Railway Package entered into force.
The Fourth Railway Package was initiated by the European Commission in January 2013 to improve the quality of the railway sector and to enhance innovation and competition. It consists of two so-called ‘pillars’: The market pillar and the technical pillar.
The entering into force of the technical pillar brings the EU closer to achieving a single European Rail Area by harmonizing rail standards. The technical pillar includes:
• a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Railways and repealing Regulation (CE) n° 881/2004 ;
• a Directive on the interoperability of the rail system within the European Union (Recast of Directive (CE)n° 2008-57)
• a Directive on railway safety (Recast of Directive (CE) n°2004-49)
After a transition period of three years, the European Railway Agency (ERA) will be authorized to issue single EU wide certificates for rolling stock and railway undertakings.
As this leads to the creation of a deeper internal market, it is beneficial for European shippers. Additionally, it will lower administrative burdens, because the new legislation will cut red-tape costs as authorization in each single Member State of operation is no longer needed.
ESC also actively promoted shippers’ interests at the SeaRail conference, organized by Infrabel, on June 14, 2016 in Antwerp. At the conference, P&G (a member of ESC) received positive feedback regarding their multidimensional intermodal collaboration initiative ‘Cargostream’ which aims to identify and bundle cargo flows between shippers, rail terminal operators and Logistics Service Providers. Marc Verelst, Supply Network Innovation Centre of P&G, stressed that it is an open network in which everybody is welcome.