Switzerland and the European Union (EU) agreed to extend their cooperation with the European Railway Agency (ERA) until 31 December 2024. Under this agreement, ERA has been taking responsibility for vehicle authorisation, safety certification, and ERTMS trackside approval for trains running throughout the EU.
The deal was implemented in 2019 across the whole Union, but, for Switzerland, it had an annual duration. It has been renewed every year so far, but some pessimism concerning the situation in 2024 surfaced since the Helvetic Federation is trying to make it permanent. During negotiations in early 2023, Switzerland claimed that the conditions put forward by the EU to achieve this would bring the country too close to it. On the other hand, the absence of such an agreement would mean that Switzerland would have to carry out authorisation procedures with each EU country.
The document was signed by Kristian Schmidt, Director for Land Transport at the European Commission, and Peter Füglistaler, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Transport (FOT) on Thursday 14 December. When it comes to Switzerland, the FOT mentioned that the cooperation with ERA does reduce administrative expenses for Swiss companies. The full adhesion to ERA remains the Swiss goal, the FOT pointed out. However, it seems that further discussion is needed before a definitive agreement can be reached.
Source: Rail tech