Mutual recognition of goods within the European Union


Not every appliance or structure is obliged to be subject to technical inspection once they are to enter the Polish market. The mutual goods recognition clause allows for the introduction of a simplified mode of the certification of conformity to existing regulations. During the application proceeding the entrepreneurs may present such certificates issued previously in other member states of the European Union. So far not many entrepreneurs operating in the railway sector have used this opportunity.

Since January 2015 the Office of Rail Transport (Pol. Urząd Transportu Kolejowego, UTK) has received 46 applications regarding the authorisation for use of an appliance type or a structure type, produced by manufacturers from other EU member states. In 28 cases the applicants have claimed the possibility of mutual recognition. However, in 13 cases with regard to the authorisation certificates the filed applications dealt with limitations of assessment for products manufactured and used in Poland. The applicants wished to obtain certificates for the same type of a product, but in another mode of use. Such cases could not then be qualified as falling under the mutual recognition clause as regulated by the EU's legal acts.

For more than 5 years the mutual recognition clause has been applied in Poland in 15 cases with regard to the railway system. What is more interesting, a railway vehicle wasn't the subject of any such case. Vehicles imported from other EU countries are usually authorised for use according to the harmonised procedure of rolling stock not compliant with the relevant Technical Specification of Interoperability (TSI). And none of the imported vehicles at that time was supposed to be operated in the infrastructure that required authorisation for use of a railway vehicle type.

- Thanks to the mutual recognition clause the Polish railway sector should gain easier access to newest technologies used in the European railway system. That's why it is worth to use that clause - admits Mr. Ignacy Góra, Ph.D., the President of UTK. - It is also a chance for our industry to be present in the European market - he adds.

Presented data shows little interest of entrepreneurs to use the clause present in par. 17 of the Regulation by the Minister of Infrastructure and Development. In recent years only 1/3 of those eligible have acted based on the regulation. In 10 cases the limitation of assessment was directed at the resgnation of in-use tests, as the product in question had already been in use in another EU member state. In all cases relevant conformity certificates issued in Poland were presented, although the applicants could have presented previously issued certificates, coming from other EU member states.

The scope of technical assessement, which appliances and structures fall under, may be limited in the framework of mutual recognition of goods, which have entered the market in another EU member state. The limitation of the assessment probe in an application process in order to receive an authorisation for use of a type may be introduced for an unlimited time, when the application for such limitation with regard to in-use tests or a limited time, when the application regards other types of assessments.

Information on the scope of mutual recognition in the railway sector is available at the Single Digital Portal subwebsite at UTK's website. This is where EU's citizens and entrepreneurs may check which regulations and procedures regarding the railway market are in effect in Poland, how applications should be filed and what the fees for issuing of official documents in this regard are.


Regulation by the Minister of Infrastructure and Development of 13 May 2014 on the authorisation for use of certain type of structures, devices and railway vehicles (Journal of Laws from 2014, pos. 720, Polish version only).

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