Cableways mainly consist of funicular railways, cable cars, gondolas, chairlifts, and drag lifts. They are designed, manufactured, put into service, and operated with the objective of carrying people safely.

Importance of the cableways sector in the EU

The international cableways industry is dominated by EU companies, which account for 90% of the industry worldwide. EU companies have a strong presence in the United States of America and in Asia. Obstacles to new operators entering the market include:

  • the specialised nature of the cableways building business
  • the importance of investments in research
  • strict safety requirements
  • the particular difficulty of operating cableways in the mountains.

The weight of groups in the exploitation and management of cableway installations and ski domains is growing. As the western European market is mature (work involves mainly replacing and upgrading existing cableways) manufacturers and operators are focusing on emerging markets in newer EU countries and Asia.

EU legislation and cableways

Safety is of prime importance and has to be guaranteed in all operating conditions. Although cableway installations may be used for urban transport, they are mainly operated in connection with tourism, particularly in mountain areas, which is an important factor for the balance of trade between EU countries.

Cableways Directive

Directive 2000/9/EC relates to cableway installations designed to carry persons. The purpose of the Directive is to allow for the free movement of safety components and subsystems of cableway installations in the EU internal market while maintaining a uniform and high level of safety.

The Directive entered into force in May 2000 and became fully applicable in May 2004 in all EU countries, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (EFTA countries).

The first report on the implementation of Directive 2000/9/EC is available.

New Cableways Regulation (EU) 2016/424

As of 21 April 2018, Directive 2000/9/EC will be repealed by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/424 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on cableway installations.

This Regulation is aligned to the New Legislative Framework policy. In addition, it provides legal clarity about the scope and thus a better implementation of the relevant legal provisions. It also aligns the conformity assessment procedures available for subsystems ;with those already used for safety components.

A Corrigendum to Regulation (EU) 2016/424 on cableway installations has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) L 266 of 30 September 2016. It rectifies the content of Annex II, point 4.1.2, on page 31.

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