ERFA / About us / Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct in an emerging market phase

The activities of ERFA members are critical to the achievement of a competitive and sustainable Europe. The Code of Conduct is intended to ensure the highest standard of professional conduct amongst the ERFA members.

ERFA Code of Conduct



This code of conduct is intended to ensure the highest standard of professional conduct amongst the rail freight stakeholders which are affiliated to ERFA.

ERFA recognises that the activities of its members are critical to the achievement of a competitive and sustainable Europe according to the protocol of Lisbon.

in an emerging complex liberalised rail freight market with various new entrants and organisations of all categories, this code is intended to uphold the quality of services, the social and environmental responsibility in accordance with the sustainable development duties, the fairness of competition and the high safety reputation of the European railways systems and actors.

Members of ERFA commit themselves with the whole of their management and staff to observe, as a minimum, the obligations set below.

  • 1. Qualification, Competence, Professionalism
    The RU members of ERFA commit to maintain the highest level of knowledge, skills and training levels to ensure the best quality level for their clients.
  • 2. Fairness of competition
    The RU members of ERFA contribute pro-actively to the development of a healthy competitive market by avoiding intentional or careless injury to the reputation of others.
  • 3. Solidarity
    All members of ERFA behave in a spirit of common respect and interest to allow the RU members of ERFA to grow and prosper for the sake of a genuine liberalised market.
  • 4. Market regulation
    The members of ERFA commit to feed back market best and worst practices to the national and European regulatory bodies. They will report especially on market failures so that they can be prohibited quickly. They will especially support ERFA to adapt and improve the existing regulations and contribute to the creation of those deemed necessary for a liberalised market offering equal chances to all actors.
  • 5. Interoperability
    The members of ERFA recognise the lack of interoperability as a serious technical barrier to a single EU rail freight market. Therefore, they will contribute directly or indirectly via ERFA to the works on EU standards in all fields essential to their business, like rolling stock, infrastructure and related facilities, training centres, etc.
  • 6. Safety
    The members of ERFA commit to seek certification for their rail freight operations to allow for a competitive safety record of rail freight in intramodal and intermodal terms. They will work towards the highest internal and external safety standards in the interest of their companies, staff and equipment.
  • 7. Social responsibility
    The RU members of ERFA recognise the important role of a fully trained and equipped staff to offer high quality, safe and competitive services to their customers. Therefore, they will pay particular attention to the social dimension of their business operations and they will support ERFA to becoming a recognised social partner to allow for a social dialogue on EU level.
  • 8. Environment
    The members of ERFA commit to provide environmentally sustainable rail freight operations. In close cooperation with other rail freight stakeholders, they will contribute to further reducing the externalities of rail freight, like exhaust emissions and noise. They will also monitor that any EU or national measures do not allow for unfair market distortions in intramodal and intermodal terms.


Latest News


ERFA at the annual meeting of European rail regulators plenary

ERFA presents at the annual meeting of European rail regulators plenary on the needs of rail customers.

A competitive environment is key to fostering the right conditions to meet customer needs.

Healthy competition does not exist in most Member States. Dominant position of state incumbents undermines customer choice, quality, cost and innovation of services.

Infrastructure managers have limited incentives to create the right conditions to ensure competitive services, which in turn feeds bad quality and high prices.

Rail regulators should use their role in the market to foster a competitive environment, root out basic competition problems and support the end goal of modal shift.




Press Statement: Learnings from Rastatt

Infrastructure Managers must strengthen their support for international services.

Rail freight companies set out their priorities following the Rastatt disaster:

- Infrastructure managers must take responsibility for developing one standard infrastructure if rail is to be competitive with road.

- Rail companies who have to adapt to different operational rules, signalling systems, language requirements, train parameters can never deliver a competitive offer.

- Full liability for the financial damages caused by Rastatt must also be settled by DB Netz in the short term. The lost customer confidence in rail as a reliable partner in the supply chain must be regained.


See all news