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The ECM Regulation (EU) 2019/779, what has been changed?

Due to the EU Regulation 445/2011 implemented by the commission, the so called “Entity in Charge for Maintenance (ECM)” came into effect. A system used for certifying “entities in charge of maintenance for freight wagons”. This ECM regulation was based on the following EU-guidelines:

  • Directive (EU) 2016/797 on “interoperability of the rail system”
  • Directive (EU) 2016/798 on “railway-safety”
  • Regulation (EU) 2016/796 on “European Union Agency for Railways”

The implementation of regulation (EU) 2019/779, has replaced and repealed regulation (EU) 445/2011. Following sectors of (EU) 445/2011 have been adjusted due to the regulation:

  • Subject matter and scope (article 1)
  • System of Certification (article 2) - scoped in article 3
  • Safety-critical components (article 3) - scoped in article 4
  • Criteria for requests by entities in charge of maintenance (annex II)

Subject matter and scope

The most considerable alteration, in accordance with (EU) 2016/798, recital (34), is the expanse of the ECM regulation to all railway vehicles which operate on public infrastructure. The restriction on freight wagons has thus been lifted. Exceptions to this are specified in (EU) 2016/798 under article 2 paragraph 2 and 3 and are mainly applied to public rail-bound vehicles, such as trams and subways. Moreover, the EU allows its member states to adopt the ECM regulation into national law. 

 

System of Certification

On June 16th 2020 the new regulation will come into effect and thus replace regulation 445/2011. The transition period will exist until June 16th 2022 and all ECM entities have to be certified by this point in time. As a consequence, all vehicles without a valid ECM certification are removed from the European Vehicle Register. Hence, all “entities in charge of maintenance” have to possess an ECM certification for their role. These certifications are valid for five years and are to be verified via annual on-site audits. 

 

Safety-critical components

With the implementation of the new regulation, handling of any components that are crucial for safety has been included and expanded into the ECM. Administration and further development of a catalogue are hereby transferred to the manufacturer and the “entities in charge of maintenance”. Those components and the documentation of affected subsystems are therefore part of the documentation of the vehicle’s life cycle. Likewise, it is the liability of the “entity in charge of maintenance” to report unusual observations made during maintenance which are not affiliated to regular wear, to the railway-sector. – Safety Alert IT System (cf. EU 2019/779 article 4 paragraph 6)

 

Criteria for requests by entities in charge of maintenance 

The most significant change in this section is that the restriction on freight wagons has been lifted and from now on applies to all vehicles and ECM. Concerning surveillance and further development of safety-critical components, ECMs have extended responsibilities in risk management. In regards to the “maintainer-function”, the subsystem in the area of competence-management has been expanded (article 4, paragraph 8 (e-h)). In contrast to the old regulation, the mandatory documentation in regards to the “maintainer-function” has been substantiated to safety-relevant maintenance activities.