Latest Rail News

26.06.14

European suppliers still face discrimination trying to export to Japan

The European Rail Industry Association (UNIFE) has repeated its demand that suppliers across the continent get access to the Japanese market as part of free trade negotiations.

It says the extensive use of the ‘Operational Safety Clause’ (OSC) and the non-transparent procurement procedures of operators remain a “major hurdle”, barring most European suppliers from access to the Japanese rail market, especially rolling stock.

It issued the call on Wednesday, to coincide with the EU Trade Policy Committee and the progress review of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Japan.

UNIFE director general Philippe Citroën said: “The agreement on the One-Year Package on railways procurement is still a far cry from the expectations of the industry. The European Commission should actively pursue negotiations on rail procurement after the first year of negotiations to achieve a true level playing field between the European and Japanese rail markets – and to maintain a strong and dedicated track on rail procurement to ensure that.”

UNIFE said: “The agreement on the One-Year Package on railways procurement following the fifth round of negotiations does not constitute a sufficient guarantee of transparency and non-discrimination treatment on the Japanese rail market. Moreover, UNIFE strongly supports the Joint Letter sent by the Ministers of France, Germany and Spain, which considers that the One-Year Package is not satisfactory and urges the European Commission to pursue negotiations on some critical parts of the package.”

(Library image of a EU-Japan Summit, copyright European Council. Creative Commons)

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