Ger­man legis­la­ti­ve sche­du­le for the rail sector


The prot­ago­nists of the Ger­man rail­way indus­try – at least at legis­la­ti­ve level – are curr­ent­ly going through dif­fi­cult times. With the recent­ly published ‘Rail­way Com­mis­sio­ning Aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on Regu­la­ti­on’ (EIGV), which has super­se­ded the pre­vious ‘Trans­eu­ro­pean Rail­way Inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty Regu­la­ti­on’ (TEIV), and with the new Euro­pean Aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2018/545, which is just round the cor­ner, the rail sec­tor has pre­cious litt­le cer­tain­ty in terms of plan­ning and legal com­pli­ance about what is actual­ly going to app­ly in Ger­ma­ny in the years ahead. Against this back­drop, the Fede­ral Minis­try of Trans­port and Digi­tal Infra­struc­tu­re (BMVI) has deci­ded to draw up an over­view of the cur­rent and forth­co­ming legis­la­ti­ve initia­ti­ves of the fede­ral govern­ment for the Ger­man rail­way sector.

Legis­la­ti­ve initia­ti­ves of the BMVI 

The over­view con­ta­ins a total of six legis­la­ti­ve initia­ti­ves which are eit­her immi­nent or alre­a­dy in pro­gress. The BMVI is curr­ent­ly enga­ged on them for the rail­way sector.

1. Second Regu­la­ti­on on Amend­ments to Appen­di­ces F and G of the Con­ven­ti­on con­cer­ning Inter­na­tio­nal Car­ria­ge by Rail (COTIF)

The aim of the amend­ments to Appen­di­ces F and G is to cater to the new ver­si­ons of the Euro­pean Inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/797 and the Rail­way Safe­ty Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/798. Becau­se of the acces­si­on of the EU to COTIF and becau­se all EU mem­ber sta­tes with a rail net­work are also mem­bers of COTIF, it is neces­sa­ry to adapt and har­mo­ni­se the Ger­man legal posi­ti­on. Imple­men­ta­ti­on has to be com­ple­ted by 1 March 2019, so the con­sul­ta­ti­on with the fede­ral sta­tes and asso­cia­ti­ons con­cer­ned may be expec­ted in the near future.

2. Fifth Act on the Amend­ment of the Gene­ral Rail­way Act (AEG) (5th AEG Amend­ment Act)

The aim of this law is to bring to an end the pro­cee­dings for breach of con­tract rela­ting to Direc­ti­ves 2004/49/EC and 2008/57/EC (on the mat­ter of the pos­si­bi­li­ty of dero­ga­ti­on for regio­nal rail­ways). It was ori­gi­nal­ly plan­ned as the 10th Act on the Amend­ment of Regu­la­ti­ons of Rail­way Law and in fact alre­a­dy sub­mit­ted in 2017. Howe­ver, becau­se of the fede­ral par­lia­men­ta­ry elec­tions and the ensuing for­ma­ti­on of the govern­ment, the pro­ject was delay­ed. It is now expec­ted to come into force at the begin­ning of 2019.

3. Four­te­enth Regu­la­ti­on on the Amend­ment of Regu­la­ti­ons of Rail­way Law (14th ERÄV)

On the one hand, this pro­ject invol­ves the amend­ment of the Rail­way Acci­dent Inves­ti­ga­ti­on Regu­la­ti­on (EUV); on the other, in anti­ci­pa­ti­on of the com­pre­hen­si­ve imple­men­ta­ti­on of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/798, an amend­ment is being made to the Rail­way Safe­ty Regu­la­ti­on (ESiV). Fur­ther­mo­re, other sta­tu­to­ry amend­ments for the ter­mi­na­ti­on of pro­cee­dings for breach of con­tract with the Euro­pean Uni­on are also being addres­sed. The draft bill has alre­a­dy gone through the pro­cess of inter­nal con­sul­ta­ti­on, so that the con­sul­ta­ti­on with the fede­ral sta­tes and asso­cia­ti­ons con­cer­ned is curr­ent­ly being held.

4. Regu­la­ti­on on the Appro­ba­ti­on and Deploy­ment of Expert Examiners

This draft con­ta­ins the Expert Rail­way Exami­ners Regu­la­ti­on (EPSV), with which the legal pre­re­qui­si­tes for the appro­ba­ti­on and moni­to­ring of expert exami­ners are being crea­ted, and the Regu­la­ti­on on the Exami­na­ti­on of Expert Rail­way Exami­ners, which con­ta­ins rules cove­ring the exami­na­ti­on of expert exami­ners as part of the appro­ba­ti­on pro­ce­du­re. The con­sul­ta­ti­on with the fede­ral sta­tes and asso­cia­ti­ons con­cer­ned has been set for the autumn of 2018.

5. New ver­si­on of the Rail­way Signal Ordi­nan­ce (ESO)

The ESO is being revi­sed com­ple­te­ly with a view to har­mo­ni­sa­ti­on. Its fami­li­ar struc­tu­re is being chan­ged, so that it will in future con­tain a rules sec­tion and an appen­dix with the tech­ni­cal descrip­ti­ons. The draft is curr­ent­ly being dis­cus­sed in various working groups and on various committees.

6. Imple­men­ta­ti­on of the tech­ni­cal pil­lar of the 4th Rail­way Package

Abo­ve all, the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the tech­ni­cal pil­lar means the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the new Inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/797 and the new Rail­way Safe­ty Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/798. The EIGV needs to be adapt­ed for this, sin­ce the vehic­le sec­tion is cover­ed in the new Euro­pean Aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2018/545. Work on the minis­te­ri­al draft bill is alre­a­dy being done, as imple­men­ta­ti­on has to be com­ple­ted by June 2019, unless Ger­ma­ny sus­pends it until 2020.

Important for users

To avo­id unp­lea­sant sur­pri­ses and thus also con­sidera­ble addi­tio­nal cos­ts, it is important and neces­sa­ry for all the prot­ago­nists con­cer­ned to obtain an over­view of the forth­co­ming sta­tu­to­ry amend­ments in good time, and to take suf­fi­ci­ent account of them in con­trac­tu­al nego­tia­ti­ons and pro­ject planning.


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