Imposing a time limit for the commissioning of vehicles in a vehicle series

Category: compliance Industry: corporate news, railway Author: Year:
Rail, rail industry, 4th railway package, Federal Railway Office (EBA), time limit, notice

reuschlaw Legal Consultants represent rail vehicle manufacturer vs. Federal Railway Office (EBA)

Since the end of 2018, the Federal Railway Office (EBA) has begun to impose additional time limits on notices for the licensing of a vehicle series. However, the time limit does not actually relate to series licensing per se, but to the commissioning of further vehicles in the series by the licence holder, taking place within the series licence already issued. 

On behalf of a manufacturer of rail vehicles, reuschlaw Legal Consultants are now taking action against the imposition of these time limits, which is currently still at the review stage following protest. 

In our opinion, this additional time limit on commissioning is an inadmissible provision incidental to the principal administrative act of series licensing. The EBA has placed a time limit of 16 June 2020 on further commissioning and thus on the coming into force of the 4th railway package in Germany. But no concrete or logical reasons for this imposition have been submitted.

In our opinion, moreover, the relevant specific legislation, which in this case is (still) the Trans-European Railway Interoperability Regulation (TEIV), does not give the EBA any such option to impose limits. After all, the very sense and purpose of commissioning further vehicles in the series is that it can be done without further action on the part of the authorities. 

Apart from that, other arguments, such as violations of the principle of the commensurability of action by the authorities and the principle of consistent administrative action, can also be put forward against the imposition of these time limits. Just what the background for this current procedure by the EBA might be is so far not clear to the protagonists in the rail sector, the less so because the implementation of the European specifications with an appropriate transitional provision by the competent ministry has only just entered the planning phase. At all events, notices of this kind by the EBA could cause massive commercial upheaval throughout the German rail sector if they became legally effective.

[March 2019]