EA and the European Railway Agency (ERA) strengthen their cooperation in order to enhance the quality of the work performed by Notified Bodies.
In March 2014, the European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) asked the European Railway Agency (ERA) to provide a formal advice, in collaboration with EA, on an accreditation scheme for notified bodies under the Interoperability Directive 2008/57/EC (IOD).
The final aim is to improve the quality of work performed by the notified bodies in the railway sector. In this regard, the EA-ERA cooperation has the twofold objective:
– to provide a harmonized framework for the accreditation of NoBos in order to increase the confidence of the Member States in certificates delivered by the different NoBos in different Member States; and
– to harmonize the technical capacity of the EU railway NoBos in order to mitigate the risks of having different approaches to conformity assessment and verification procedures of the requirements set out in the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs).
In order to reach the objectives and based on the request from DG MOVE, ERA has launched the project “accreditation scheme for notified bodies under the IOD” and invited EA for cooperation. The accreditation scheme shall notably cover the technical as well as organisational and operational capacities necessary for the NoBos to properly perform their duties.
A preliminary ERA-EA meeting was held on 21 August 2014 in Paris to share information about the ERA accreditation scheme project and to identify how EA can support this project. On EA’s side, the meeting was attended by Andreas Steinhorst, the EA Executive Secretary and liaison person for ERA, Philippe Cassan from COFRAC and Phil Shaw from UKAS.
The project work will progress through an ad-hoc task force gathering together ERA’s internal project team, EA, EU railway NoBos and the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF). A special call for experts was launched by ERA in September 2014. Invited to provide two experts for the TFG, EA has nominated Susana Huerta Vela (ENAC) and Martins Ozolins (LATAK) as EA representatives, as well as Inge-Lise Clausen (DANAK) and Curt-Peter Askolin (SWEDAC) as their deputies. This ad-hoc task force should meet four times from February to December 2015.
In light of the project plan established by ERA, the final report should be available in December 2015 and the ERA advice to the EC should be given in early January 2016.