Regulatory environment

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With the increasing expansion of our railway transport activities in other European countries,we are also becoming subject to their local regulatory environment.

The EU Member States are obliged to implement the policies adopted by the railway packages into national law. Their implementation leeway is used by the Member States in different ways. 

Regulatory conditions in the UK, France, Poland, Spain and Italy are particularly important for the DB Group. We provide extensive rail freight transport and passenger transport services in these countries via our own subsidiary companies.

The United Kingdom  

The British rail network is operated by Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. with the exception of the high-speed line between the Channel Tunnel and London, which is operated by High Speed One Limited. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) acts as an independent regulator and is responsible for overseeing Network Rail. The ORR also issues all types of railroad licenses and safety certificates and approves user agreements and user charges. The intergovernmental Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) is responsible for overseeing rail operations in Eurotunnel. Since June 16, 2015, the ORR and the French regulatory authority L'Autorité de régulation des transports (ART) have taken over regulatory oversight, while the IGC has remained the responsible safety authority. In order for the IGC to remain as the competent safety authority post-Brexit, France has been authorized by the EU Commission to negotiate an agreement to this effect. In order to safeguard Channel Tunnel traffic in the wake of Brexit, the validity of certain safety certificates and licenses issued under EU law to British railroad companies for the use of cross-border infrastructure in the Channel Tunnel has also been extended until September 31, 2021. By then, France and the United Kingdom are to conclude a cross-border agreement to secure Channel Tunnel services in the long term.


The French rail network is operated by SNCF Réseau. The Autorité de régulation des transports (ART) is an independent regulatory authority responsible for monitoring non-discriminatory access to the rail infrastructure and controlling access charges. Its responsibilities were expanded in 2015 and again in 2016 to include the Channel Tunnel, intercity bus services, and concession highways, transforming the authority into a multimodal transport regulator. Since October 1, 2019, the Regulatory Authority (formerly "ARAFER") has also been responsible for regulating airport charges, and was renamed the Transport Regulation Authority (ART) on that date. Finally, Law No. 2019-1428 of December 24, 2019, on the orientation of mobility, extended the authority's powers and duties to the opening of mobility and ticketing data, as well as to the regulation of the activities of the infrastructure manager and the safety activities of the RATP in the Île-de-France region (Paris transport operator).

The Etablissement public de sécurité ferroviaire (ESRP) issues the safety certificates required for the operation of a railroad undertaking.


The Polish rail network is operated by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A (PKP PLK). The PKP PLK is majority owned by the Polish state, the remaining property is heald by the Polish Railways PKP S.A.. As an independent regulatory authority Urzad Transportu Kolejowego (UTK) is responsible for the supervision of non-discriminatory access to rail networks as well as the issuing of railway regulatory approvals and safety certificates.


The Spanish rail network is operated  by the Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF). The Regulatory Authority is the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC).  The "Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Ferroviaria" (AESF) located in the area of the Ministerio de Fomento,The Ministry is responsible for issuing legally required railway permits and safety certificates.


The Italian rail network is operated by the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A. (RFI), a subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS). Since 2013 the newly established "Autorità di Regolazione dei Trasporti" acts as an independent regulatory agency and is primarily responsible for monitoring competition. The Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza delle Ferrovie (ANSF) issues the safety certificates needed to operate a railway in Italy

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