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European Commission - Press release

Rail: Commission refers Germany to Court of Justice over railway safety

Brussels, 24 November 2011 - The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Union’s Court of Justice for failing to implement the last amendment to the Railway Safety directive. So far Germany has failed to bring its national legislation into line with this Directive although it was required to do so by 24 December 2010. Germany is not planning to adopt new implementing measures before 2012. In accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission will ask the Court to impose a daily penalty payment on Germany until the adoption of national measures.

The EU rules

Directive 2008/110/EC aims to increase the safety of the European rail transport system. It provides a legal basis for a common framework for the maintenance of rolling stock. Before a rail vehicle is allowed to be placed into service, the organisation or company responsible for its maintenance (known as the "entity in charge of maintenance" or ECM) must be identified. For freight wagons, the ECM must be certified according to a system developed by the European Railway Agency and adopted by the Commission on 10 May 2011. Member States had until 24 December 2010 to transpose the directive into their national legislation and to notify domestic implementation measures to the Commission.

The reason for today's action

Germany still has not fully transposed Directive 2008/110/EC .

The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Germany on 19 May 2011. In its reply, Germany indicated that such measures would probably only enter into force in May 2012.

The practical effect of non-implementation

Failing to fully implement the directive could affect safety and put passengers and staff at risk. This will not only have an impact on Germany but also on the whole single European railway area.

More information on infringement procedures:


Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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