ECM stands for the "Entity in Charge of Maintenance",
the organization/entity having the full responsibility for any the
maintenance issue of freight wagons. According to the Rules for
Certification and Auditing of Entities in Charge of Maintenance
(the "Regulation") of the
Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail
("OTIF"), which came into force on June 1,
2013, the ECMs must be evaluated and certified by an independent
institution. Every freight wagon used by an international entity
must be maintained by a particular ECM.
Gathering the Regulations Together
OTIF was established on May 1, 1985 under the Convention on
International Carriage by Rail ("COTIF"), which
was concluded in 1980. The main purpose of the OTIF is to harmonize
and coordinate the regulations, providing for the freight and
passenger transportation through railroads, between the States and
the groups of States, and to formulate uniform legal instruments,
principles and rules to achieve those objectives. Turkey is a
member state of the OTIF as well.
The OTIF member states must assure that all freight wagons
within their borders are manufactured secure and regularly
maintained. That provision exists simply because it is not possible
for other states to check the technical state of those freight
wagons at the time they cross the borders between the states.
Therefore, the regulations among the states have been unified to
ensure the quality and the technical condition of the freight
wagons. These arrangements gave a great relief to the member states
in this respect. Finally, according to the Regulation, freight
wagons without any certified ECMs will not be accepted into the EU
and the member states of OTIF.
How to be an ECM and What about the
Any entity, be it a local or foreign one, meeting the
requirements of obtaining ECM certificates can be an ECM at the
same time. Therefore, the possessor or the operator of a freight
wagon can be an ECM as long as it meets the requirements of
obtaining such certificate. With the certificate, the ECM is
entitled to maintain the relevant freight wagon in the very same
place at which such freight wagon is situated. Moreover, it is the
operator's responsibility to assign and meet the expenses of an
ECM regarding a respective freight wagon; however, the possessor is
always entitled to change the ECM even though the operator is
qualified as an ECM.
ECMs have 4 functions as stated below:
Management Function: manages, coordinates and controls other
Maintenance Development Function: creates a maintenance log for
each freight wagon;
Maintenance Management of a Fleet Function: drafts documents,
Maintenance Supply Function: carrying out maintenance of a car
or its parts.
In practice there exists another certificate for the maintenance
functions, namely the Maintenance Function Certificate, which is
usually being confused with the ECM certificate. Maintenance
Function certificates have only the functions of management and
maintenance supply, and are provided to the workshops. In Turkey,
Acarlar A.S., Va-Ko A.S. and Rayvag A.S. hold those Maintenance
Function certificates. On the other hand, in order to obtain an ECM
certificate, one must be able to function all above stated four
tasks. In Turkey, only Turkish State Railways
("TCDD") and Acarlar A.S. holds the ECM
Many Changes are on the way for Turkey!
When the liberalization of TCDD and the establishment of TCDD
Tasimacilik A.S. is finalized, these ECM certification processes
will need to be amended and there will be more private entities
holding ECM certificates. With all the advancements planned to
increase the effectiveness of railway transportation in Turkey,
obviously, Turkey will attract a great interest both of the
domestic and foreign investors. As Serap Zuvin Law Offices, because
we are genuinely interested and vigorously following up the
progresses made in the railway sector, we will be keeping the
investors, our clients and readers updated on any improvements of
the railway sector together with its legal framework.
1 The Rules for Certification and Auditing of Entities in
Charge of Maintenance (ECM), dated May 1, 2012 and numbered A
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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