Single safety certification (SSC)

Access to the railway infrastructure is granted only to railway undertakings that hold a valid single safety certificate.

In accordance to article 24. of Safety and interoperability of the Railway System act (SIRS act) the single safety certificate gives evidence that the railway undertaking has established its safety management system (SMS) and is able to comply with its legal obligations.

A single safety certificate is valid for a given area of operation, i.e. a network or networks within one or more Member States where the railway undertaking intends to operate.

When performing SSC procedures, the applicant should take into account provisions in accordance to national SIRS act – IV. SINGLE SAFETY CERTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION (articles: 27.-32.)

Who must apply for a single safety certificate?

The railway undertakings whose business is to transport goods and/or passengers, whether or not their activities are limited to providing traction only, must hold a valid single safety certificate to be granted access to the railway infrastructure.

How do I make an application?

Applicants should read the Commission Implementing Regulation establishing practical arrangements for issuing single safety certificates (EU) 2018/763 and the related ERA guidance, which provides information about the legislation, application process and what is required from the applicant.

The ERA application guide is supplemented by the  National application guide on issuing single safety certificates (National guide) in case when the intended area of operation is the network of the Republic of Croatia and where the Croatian Railway Safety Agency (NSA-HR) is the competent certification body. The national guide describes and explains the national administrative procedures, including the documents to be submitted by the applicant to demonstrate compliance with the national rules, the applicable language policy of the NSA-HR and further information on the amount of fees and charges, as well as the way to appeal against NSA´s decisions.

The application is made to the safety certification body (NSA-HR or ERA). The process is the same no matter if ERA or the NSA-HR is the safety certification body (single European process). In the case of rail operations in more than one Member State, ERA will be the safety certification body. Otherwise (in case when the certificate is limited to the railway network of the Republic of Croatia) the applicant can choose whether to apply to ERA or to the NSA-HR.

All applications for a single safety certificate must be electronically submitted through the One-Stop Shop (OSS). This includes any new, update or renewal application for a single safety certificate.

Applicants can also submit a “pre-engagement” application, which is optional for the applicant but mandatory for the safety certification body and/or the NSA-HR concerned with the area of operation on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, on request of the applicant. The “pre-engagement” covers all prior formal exchanges of information between the applicant, the safety certification body – the NSA-HR and other interested parties, before the actual submission of the application. This allows the applicant to obtain an opinion from the safety certification body concerning the approach proposed by the applicant at an early stage of the process.

NSA-HR’s rates relevant for establishing the costs charged to the NSA-HR, please see: National guide

If you are a potential applicant or assessor and wish to follow a training session on the OSS organised by the Agency in its Headquarter of Valenciennes, please consult the OSS Training guidelines

Where can I find the decision about my application?

All decisions following an application for a single safety certificate can be found in the One-Stop Shop (OSS). The applicant can only access information pertaining to its respective applications.

The single safety certificates are published in the European Railway Agency Database of Interoperability and Safety (ERADIS).

When does the new safety certification regime apply?

The new authorisation regime applies as of 16 June 2020 with transitional provisions when the new SIRS act comes to force.

Transitional provisions apply in the case where a National Safety Authority (NSA-HR) recognises that it will not be able to take its decision over the issue of a safety certificate before 16 June 2020 in accordance with the “old” SIRS act (Directive 2004/49/EC). In such a case, the NSA-HR has to promptly inform the applicant and the ERA and the applicant will be requested to submit its decision (in accordance to Article 1 of Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2020/777) whether the NSA-HR shall continue to carry out the assessment of the application for a safety certificate in accordance with Directive 2004/49/EC, beyond 16 June 2020, provided that it shall issue the safety certificate before 30 October 2020. The single safety certificate will be issued by the selected authorising entity (i.e. the Agency or the NSA-HR).

The ERA, when acting as a safety certification body, will take into account the results of the assessment carried out by the NSA relating to the Part A safety certificate in order to avoid any duplication of assessment and so, minimise the inconvenience for the applicant. In that respect, the ERA will assist the applicant to supplement the application file with additional evidence necessary to comply with the additional requirements introduced by the new legal framework. The ERA and the NSA will also cooperate and coordinate for assessing the application file.

The decisions issued by the ERA between 16 June 2019 and 16 June 2020 should exclude the network(s) of any Member States having not yet transposed Directive (EU) 2016/798. However, a single safety certificate issued by the ERA should be recognised as equivalent to a Part A safety certificate issued under Directive 2004/49/EC whilst the NSA should continue to issue its Part B safety certificate with a validity period not exceeding the one of the corresponding single safety certificate issued by the ERA.

Documents and legal acts in relation to SSC can be also accessible directly via ERA pages.

National application guide on issuing single safety certificates