A safe mode of transport
Europe’s railways are among the safest in the world. The EU is looking to maintain high standards and to harmonise safety requirements EU-wide.
As well as ensuring optimal safety, harmonisation in this area helps improve the compatibility – the interoperability – of national rail systems. Different national safety rules are a major hindrance for new railway companies looking to establish themselves on the market or indeed for any company wanting to use rail infrastructure in different countries.
EU legislation sets the framework for a harmonised approach to rail safety in the EU. It lays down the conditions for granting the safety certification that every railway company must obtain before it can run trains on the European network. Furthermore, it obliges EU Member States to set up national railway safety authorities and independent accident investigation bodies.
Role of the European Railway Agency
The Agency develops common approaches to safety, working closely with stakeholders from the rail sector as well as with national authorities, the EU institutions and other interested parties. Featuring a dedicated Safety Unit, ERA also monitors and reports on rail safety in the EU. For more information :
Commission Directive 2009/149/EC of 27 November 2009 amending Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards Common Safety Indicators and common methods to calculate accident costs
Commission Decision 2009/460/EC of 5 June 2009 on the adoption of a common safety method for assessment of achievement of safety targets, as referred to in Article 6 of Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
Commission Regulation (EC) No 352/2009 of 24 April 2009 on the adoption of a common safety method on risk evaluation and assessment as referred to in Article 6(3)(a) of Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
Commission Regulation (EC) No 653/2007 of 13 June 2007 on the use of a common European format for safety certificates and application documents in accordance with Article 10 of Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and on the validity of safety certificates delivered under Directive 2001/14/EC
DIRECTIVE 2004/49/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community's railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification (Railway Safety Directive)
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the common principles of a certification system of the Entities in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) of Freight Wagons has been signed on May 14th 2009 in the premises of B-Holding, between 10 EU Members States.
This MoU follows on the work carried out between the European Railway Agency and the railway sector associations (CER, ERFA, UIC, UIP), in the perspective of the implementation of Directive 2008/110/EC amending Directive 2004/49/EC on Railway Safety. The MoU will allow the rapid deployment, on a voluntary base, between the signing Members States, of the principles that were defined for the certification of the ECMs, in anticipation of the full transposition of the Directive that establishes the mandatory character of the certification.
- Photos of the signature :