European Railway Agency - ERA

Making the railway system work better for society

Board of Appeal

The Board of Appeal is responsible for appeals lodged against certain decisions of the Agency taken under its Regulation (EU) 2016/796 and the Safety and Interoperability Directives. In addition, the Board of Appeal deals with arbitration cases between the Agency and the national safety authorities.

The Board of Appeal is part of the administrative structure of the Agency, however, it issues its findings independently.

What are the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Appeal?

The Agency decisions against which an appeal may be introduced before the Board of Appeal are the following:

  • Decisions on issuing, renewal, suspension, amendment, restriction and revocation of single safety certificates (Article 14 of Regulation 2016/796)
  • Decisions on issuing authorisations for the placing on the market of railway vehicles, renewal, amendment, suspension and revocation of authorisations (Article 20 of Regulation 2016/796)
  • Decisions on issuing authorisations for the placing on the market of vehicle types, renewal, amendment, suspension and revocation of authorisations issued by the Agency (Article 21 of Regulation 2016/796)
  • Decisions on ERTMS trackside equipment technical solutions non-(fully) compliant with relevant Technical Specifications for Interoperability and non-fully interoperable (Article 22 of Regulation 2016/796)
  • Failure to act on the part of the Agency, in relation to the above decisions within the prescribed time-limits (Article 58 of Regulation 2016/796).

After a decision is being taken by the Agency, the applicant may request for a review of the decision. If not satisfied, the applicant may still bring an appeal before the Board of Appeal.

In addition, the Board of Appeal could take arbitration decisions in the following cases:

  • Before a safety certificate/vehicle authorisation is issued by the Agency, upon request in the event of a disagreement between the Agency and a national safety authority or authorities in case of a negative assessment, pursuant to Article 21(7) and Article 26(3) and (4) of Directive (EU) 2016/797 and also Article 10(7) and Article 17(5) and (6) of Directive (EU) 2016/798
  • Before an authorisation is issued by the National Safety Authority, in case of risk of lack of technical and operational compatibility between the ERTMS trackside subsystem and vehicles fitted with ERTMS. With a view to avoid such risk, when the Agency becomes aware that a project design or specification was changed after the granting of the approval by the Agency, before an authorisation is issued by the national security authority, the parties involved cooperate. If no acceptable solution is found within one month since the initiation of the coordination process, the matter is referred to the BoA for arbitration (Article 30(2) of Regulation 2016/796)
  • In cases where different applications requesting similar authorisations or single safety certificates are detected during the monitoring of applications submitted through the one-stop shop, by using the early-warning system, and if no mutually acceptable solution can be found within 1 month of the beginning of the coordination process with the relevant national safety authority in order to ensure consistency of decisions to be taken by national safety authorities and the Agency (Article 12(4)(b) of Regulation 2016/796).

Decisions taken on the basis of the findings of the Board of Appeal can be appealed before the General Court of the European Union. The summary of findings of the Board of Appeal are published online.

Who can lodge an appeal?

Any natural or legal person may appeal against a decision addressed to that person. Any natural or legal person may also appeal against a decision that is of direct and individual concern to them, even though the decision is addressed to another person.

Appeals have to be lodged within two months of the notification of the decision to the person concerned or failure to act. If the appellant is not the addressee of the decision, the appeal has to be lodged within two months of the day on which the decision became known to the appellant.

How do I lodge an appeal?

Any appeal request can be submitted directly to the Registrar of the Board of Appeal.

How much does it cost to lodge an appeal against an Agency’s decision?

An appeal fee would have to be paid if the findings of the Board of Appeal do not find the appeal admissible or well-founded and do not confirm the Agency’s decision.

What is the composition of the Board of Appeal?

The Board of Appeal consists of a Chairman and from two to five members.

The members of the Board of Appeal are appointed by the Management Board of the Agency, from a list of qualified experts drawn up by the Commission following an open and transparent selection procedure. They are appointed for 4 years.