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Estonian parliament adopts Railways Act

BC, Tallinn, 15.10.2020.Print version
The Riigikogu on October 15th adopted the Railways Act, whereby European Union directives are transposed into Estonian law, the structure of the law that has been repeatedly amended is better organized and a number of provisions are specified, informs LETA/BNS.

According to the explanatory memorandum to the bill, initiated by the government, the current Railways Act has been amended for more than 30 times since its adoption in 2003, which has made the text of the law difficult to read, and therefore it is reasonable to issue a new consolidated text of the law.

The law was passed in the 101-seat chamber with 83 votes in favor, the Riigikogu press service said.

The EU directives transposed by the bill are legal acts of the technical pillar of the Fourth Railway Package, which aims to complete the creation of a single European railway market.

The goal of this package is to revitalize the rail sector and make it more competitive vis-à-vis other modes of transport. The technical pillar is designed to boost the competitiveness of the railway sector by significantly reducing costs and administrative burden for railway undertakings wishing to operate across Europe. For that, it will be possible to apply for licenses through the EU Agency for Railways in the future.

The newly adopted law provides for a reduction in the state fee if an application for an act in the railway traffic register is submitted through the electronic service information system of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority. At the same time, the law was also amended by including additional fees for example for reviewing applications for changes to the operating licenses for the technical maintenance and repair of railway vehicles and the construction of railway vehicles.

In order to disambiguate the issues relating to the building rights and the right of use of railway civil engineering works, the same bill amends the Building Code and specifies the requirements for railway civil engineering works. At the same time, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority is designated as the competent authority to issue the design criteria for railway civil engineering works.

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