Amendments to the law on rail transport, adopted by the Parliament on February 7, facilitate the access of foreign railway operators to the Bulgarian market. They will now have the right to carry passengers. The Railway Administration Executive Agency (RAEA) will have to guarantee access to railways and service facilities and to recognize the uniform railway safety certificates issued by the Railway Agency of the European Union, operating on markets in the European Union, Novinite news agency informs.
These single certificates replace the current two-part A (issued in the Member State where the railway undertaking is registered) and B (issued in each Member State where the railway undertaking intends to operate). RAEA will also be able to issue such certificates, but only if the railway undertaking intends to operate only on the Bulgarian market.
However, the amendments allow the possibility of limiting access to the network if, in certain sections, passenger transport is carried out by the State Railways under the public service contract which is valid until the end of 2024. Refusal will only be permitted if the destination requested by a foreign railway carrier has led to a distortion of the economic equilibrium of the public contract with BDZ.
The texts stipulate that railway transporters with valid certificates will use them until their expiration. Those who have applied for such permits before 16 June 2019 and have not received them will complete the procedures for the new requirements. Uniform certificates will be valid for five years.
The Railway Administration Executive Agency will also maintain a national vehicle register that complies with the common specifications for national vehicle registers adopted by the European Commission.