Rail Regulatory Body clarifies rules for freight transport across Russian border

9/25/18, 8:00 AM

The Rail Regulatory Body issues a decision on 24 September 2018 on the pricing of services related to Russian border transports and the transparency of the services supplied in rail freight transport.

The decision is based on the complaint lodged by Fenniarail Oy on the service entity delivered by VR Group Ltd, which enables cross-border freight transport activities, and particularly on the pricing of the service.

The regulatory body decided that some corrective measures were necessary for VR's pricing practices. In addition, the pricing and availability of the services must be made public and more transparent in the future.

“This decision on the disagreement between two rail operators is the first of its kind in the entire history of the Rail Regulatory Body. With this decision, freight transport operators will have a clearer understanding of how to access the market on the Russian border,” notes Head of Regulatory Body Juha Karjanlahti.

Russian border transports were opened up to competition on 22 December 2016, and rail companies located in both Finland and the European Economic Area can access the Finnish-Russian rail transport market on the Finnish rail network.
However, the operating environment of the multi-actor freight transport industry contains certain technical and practical hindrances that, in practice, have served to slow and complicate the creation of a competitive market. These hindrances include the information systems related to border formalities that are managed by VR Group Ltd, treaty-related obligations and the dependency on decisions made in Russia, as well as the technical and operational limitations within railway yards. Even though some of these factors are most likely only temporary in nature, in some respects they also create longer-term barriers for the activities. Thus it is necessary to regulate both the border transport services that are on offer as well as their pricing policies.

The Rail Regulatory Body is an independent regulatory body that operates within Trafi, and its mission is to ensure the functionality of the market and that the operators within the sector are treated in an equal and non-discriminatory manner. The Regulatory Body, an appellate and monitoring body independent from rail operators, infrastructure managers and service facility operators, settles matters on the basis of appeals submitted to it and on its own initiative

The decision can be found on the website of the Rail Regulatory Body at https://www.saantelyelin.fi/paatokset (only in Finnish)

More information:
Head of Regulatory Body Juha Karjanlahti, tel. +358 29 5345 244, firstname.lastname (at) trafi.fi

The Rail Regulatory Body monitors, supervises and promotes the functionality of the market in an equal and non-discriminatory manner.