Before a rail vehicle or a rail vehicle type is placed on the market (before it is put in service) on the railway system of the European Union, it must be approved by an authorising entity. The authorising entity may be the European Union Agency for Railways (hereinafter: ERA) (for the territory of one or more Member States at the same time) or the national safety authority (only for the territory of the concerned Member State). In the Republic of Slovenia, the competence of the safety authority is vested in the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Railway Transport–AŽP.
The authorisation may be granted for a vehicle type (vehicle type authorisation) or for a single vehicle corresponding to an already approved vehicle type (vehicle authorisation for placing on the market).
Depending on the circumstances of the case, there are several different authorisation procedures to choose from, namely for:
whereby the applications for authorisation under points 1 and 5 and the applications for authorisation under points 4 and 3 may be combined.
The purpose of the vehicle (type) authorisation procedure is to provide reasonable assurance that the applicant and other entities involved in the design, manufacture, verification and approval of the vehicle and/or vehicle type have fulfilled their obligations to ensure that the vehicle and/or vehicle type complies with the applicable legislation.