• Interviu

The other issues were discussed with Constantin Pestrea, president of the Romanian Rail Operators’ Association (ATFER).


RBT: Will ATFER ask for a reduction of the infrastructure access toll?

Constantin Pestrea: A reduction would be desirable, but is difficult to apply, because the budget isn’t getting enough money. There are restrictive measures, but also encouraging measures. If the level of infrastructure access toll has a restrictive effect, we can be helped by other ways, that do not require a go ahead from the Ministry of Public Finance.


RBT: What ways are you referring to?

Constantin Pestrea: There are some issues that can be tackled within the railway system, by the Romanian railway authority AFER, the national railways company CFR Infrastructurå and the national center of qualification and training CENAFER. They all make rail operators pay all sorts of fees charged for various services. All in all, these taxes within the rail system increase operators’ costs by 6%. And, unfortunately, they affect more the private operators than the state ones.

For example: if a rail operator wants to transport cargo on a railway on which it never worked before, even if it is a single station located only 20 km away form another that is already operated, it is necessary to register the new station in a safety certificate. For that, the operator goes to AFER, and this authority only checks some papers, a task that cannot take more than one hour to a single person. But the amount of money required by AFER for this check is stunning: 7,780 lei (roughly 1.800 Euros). I don’t think that AFER was ever questioned how they are spending all the money they get from this kind of services.

And I believe that they wouldn’t be charging huge sums if they were compelled to transfer those receipts to the state budget, keeping for them only the amounts to cover employees wages fund and for other expenses needed to ensure the good functioning of the authority.

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