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26 November 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 13:14 GMT+1



November 3, 2020

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Original news
ERFA calls for fair and non-discriminatory measures to support the rail freight sector affected by the Pandemic

Stahl: it is also crucial to continue to ensure that it can continue to cross national borders regardless of how the health crisis evolves

The European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) has called for the European Commission and EU states to ensure that the measures support for rail freight transport, which are necessary for the light of the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sector, are provided in a fair, transparent and non-transparent manner discriminatory discrimination and do not lead to distortions of competition and damage to this sector.

'All players in the freight market on rail -- recalled the president of ERFA, Dirk Stahl -- were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic that is still ongoing. We believe that the support measures for the whole sector are crucial, but we must ensure that these measures do not Competition. For private and independent operators this is essential if we are to be able to continue to grow. It is also crucial to continue to ensure that rail freight transport continues to move through national borders regardless of how the pandemic in the coming weeks and months.

The association, which was established in 2002 and which represents a group of new rail operators, recalled that today the European rail freight sector is a dynamic market composed of a large number of operators. On average, in Europe - erfa specified - new operators represent 44% of the national market for railway companies rail freight services and 31% of them all rail freight companies are operators not historical. The association also pointed out that this opening up the market is moving in the right direction, with a average percentage of new entrants that has risen from 40% in the 2016 to 44% in 2018. Growth - pointed out ERFA - which, however, fragile since the new entrants, and in particular the majority of these which are non- in order to continue to invest and grow, they ask for legal certainty, in particular with regard to aid for Was. In the light of this, ERFA highlighted the importance of continue to develop a legal framework that ensures that support measures can only be introduced where they are transparent and available to all market players. A in this regard, the Association noted that the support measures bilateral agreements can distort competition and harm Markets.

ERFA welcomed the recent adoption of the European regulation establishing measures for a rail market sustainable in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, regulation - recalled the association - which allows Member States to members to be able to waive access fees for the use of infrastructure and to reduce access charges to the railway lines. ERFA stressed that this remains the better way to support the rail transport sector goods in a fair and proportionate manner and urged states to the EU to take concrete action in line with this Regulation.

The association also called for the establishment of a emergency in the event of a crisis in the rail transport sector goods so that we can make sure that the sector continues to function as the backbone of freight logistics. The plan - explained ERFA - should ensure that, regardless of the from the development of the pandemic, freight transport activities along the TEN-T European corridors and other main traffic lines are protected and that workers transport can continue to move through the Borders. In addition, the plan should ensure that terminals rail and intermodal services and other ancillary services can continue to work.

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