To operate public rail services, railway undertakings need to obain a single safety certificate. This rule can be traced back to the national transposition of the first European Safety Directive (Directive 2004/49/EC). Current requirements are based on the new EU Safety Directive 2016/798 and further detailed in Regulation (EU) 2018/762 on safety management systems and Regulation (EU) 2018/763 on practical arrangements for single safety certficates. National transposition of these requirements has as far as necessary been done by amendments to the General Railway Act (Allgemeines Eisenbahngesetz) and the Regulation on railway safety (Eisenbahnsicherheitsverordnung), which entered into force in June 2020.
Applications for single safety certificates for cross-border operation are to be submitted to the Euroean Union Agency for Railways (ERA). Applications for single safety certificates for purely national operation in Germany can either be addressed to ERA or to EBA as the German national safety authority. In any case, applications need to be filed using the One Stop Shop System of ERA. Guidance on single safety certification and the One Stop Shop is available on ERA website.
As required by the legislation, the Federal Railway Authority has developed an application guide describing and explaining the national rules and the national procedural rules that apply for the area of operation Germany. The application guide is due to be published at short notice.
The aim of the application guide is to assist railway undertakings in preparing the application documents. To this end, it describes, in both qualitative and quantitative terms, the documents that have to be submitted with the application, plus the stages and duration of the review process, in order to minimize queries or additional requirements during processing as far as possible.