Exemption from the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructures. The Commissione extends the reference period

On 22 December 2021, the European Commission proposed to prolong the period in which the Member States can use the option, provided for by Regulation (EU) 2020/1429, to decrease or waive track access charges temporarily.

Regulation (EU) 2020/1429 was adopted on 7 October 2020 in order to enable rail stakeholders to cope better with the financial consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and to respond to the urgent liquidity need by allowing them to reduce, waive or defer the charges for the minimum access package and for access to infrastructure connecting service facilities until 31 December 2020. Since, however, the reduction in the level of rail traffic as compared to the previous years kept persisting due to the stricter limitations on mobility introduced by Member States, the Commission extended the reference period first to 30 June 2021 and then to 31 December 2021.

Due to the unforeseeable evolution of the coronavirus and the emergence of new variants, the Commission deemed it necessary to further extend the reference period until 30 June 2022. Furthermore, the proposal empowers the Commission to adopt delegated acts to extend such period until 31 December 2023 in order to fully counteract the negative economic effects of the pandemic and support railway undertakings.

Marco Stillo