Railway Commissioning Authorisation Regulation (EIGV) published
The '13th Regulation on the Enactment and Amendment of Provisions of Railway Law' (ERÄV) has now been published in the Federal Law Gazette. That means that the Railway Commissioning Authorisation Regulation (EIGV) has been in force in Germany since 11 August 2018. The EIGV standardises and consolidates the national rules of procedure for the commissioning of rail vehicles and rail infrastructure in accordance with the European legal framework. The aim is the equal application of the European procedures in both cases, since different rules of procedure have been applied here in the past.
Essentially, the EIGV implements the old Interoperability Directive (2008/57/EC) and the 'Memorandum of Understanding on the Reorganisation of Authorisation Procedures for Rail Vehicles' of 26 June 2013. Other main points of the EIGV relate to the new version and the supersession of the TEIV by the EIGV, a new document structure which is divided up into general and complementary rules, a revision of the trial run regulation, a provision on the transition of German series approval toward European type approval, and the amendment of the Federal Regulation on Fees for Official Acts of Railway Administration (BEGebV).
Important for users: the transitional regulation in Section 42 of the EIGV
According to the transitional regulation (Section 42 I of the EIGV) the 'old' TEIV and the applicable law on which it has been based so far can still be applied to qualification procedures which are already in progress until 11 August 2019, provided that an application is made to the Federal Railway Office before 11 November 2018 and provided evidence can be presented of a so-called 'advanced state of development' (appointment of notified body). Moreover, the standard in Section 42 II of the EIGV stipulates that inspection and conformity assessment bodies which have been confirmed in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding are only allowed to go on scrutinising the applicable national laws until 11 August 2020. If these inspection bodies (so-called appointed bodies) still wish to continue their activities in Germany after the target date, the time has now come for them to enter the appropriate approval procedure (Section 35 of the EIGV) at the Federal Railway Office.
The current deadlines are creating an urgent need for action for all manufacturers of new vehicles and all applicants for conversion procedures who have projects in progress. A written application is to be submitted to the Federal Railway Office for these procedures and projects within the next few weeks, and there must be an investigation ahead of the event into whether or not the TEIV can and should continue to be applied, whether or not the procedures will be able to be brought to a conclusion in the near future, and what approval status the competent national inspection body actually has.
With the coming into force of the EIGV, the national authorisation reform, which has been going on in Germany for more than 5 years now, will be coming to a temporary end. The regulation puts more responsibility on rail protagonists, takes the burden off the national registration authority, and leads to a noticeable simplification of the official approval procedures in the authorisation of rail technology. As we see it, there are at present no major challenges or innovations for the rail sector associated with the EIGV. Firstly, thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding, the principal contents and processes of the EIGV are already well known and routinely practised in Germany, and secondly, the various different institutions and associations already worked together closely and successfully prior to that, while the regulation was being developed.
Having said that, the 13th ERÄV does not ensure that the German sector is legally compliant! Regrettably, the EIGV will not hold for long in its current version. With the introduction of the new European Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/545 and the further implementation of the technical pillar of the 4th Railway Package, the EIGV will need to be adapted. In the years ahead, this 'jungle' of different procedures, regulations and requirements will pose considerable legal and operational challenges for rail protagonists.