Digital query platform for rail transports

From 1 January 2023, certain waste transports must be carried out by rail. By 1 December 2022, the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) is to set up a digital inquiry platform with the aim of making targeted inquiries and quickly obtaining offers from rail transport companies.

Transports of waste with a total weight of more than ten tonnes over a transport distance by road of more than

  • 300 km in Austria from 1 January 2023,
  • 200 km in Austria from 1 January 2024,
  • 100 km in Austria from 1 January 2026,

have to take place by rail or by other means of transport with equivalent or lower pollutant or greenhouse gas potential (e.g. propulsion by fuel cell or electric motor). 

This does not apply if it is proven that no adequate capacities can be provided by rail or if, in the case of transport by rail, the transport route to be covered by road for the arrival and departure to and from one of the nearest loading points would be 25 % or more compared to the road-only transport.

Confirmations

The Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) ensures through the digital platform that it is possible to request offers for waste transport by rail. If no adequate capacities can be provided, confirmation is given within two working days. Only the confirmation by the digital platform is valid as proof that no adequate capacities can be provided.

The relevant provisions are contained in sections 15 paragraph 9 and 69 paragraph 10 of the Waste Management Act 2002 (AWG, → RIS) as amended by the Recycling Management Package (Federal Law Gazette I No. 200/2021).

Examples of calculation

Examples of calculation will follow shortly.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If the waste transport falls under the general obligation pursuant to section 15 paragraph 9 or section 69 paragraph 10 Waste Management Act 2002 (AWG, → RIS), an inquiry for transport offers by rail must be submitted on the digital platform. The platform is used to check for exemptions and whether the waste may be transported by road. If this is the case, the digital platform will confirm the exemption. An inquiry on the digital platform is also possible if there is no obligation to obtain an offer.

An inquiry has not to be made if the transport is carried out with other means of transport with equivalent or lower pollutant or greenhouse gas potential (e.g. propulsion by means of fuel cell or electric motor).

General inquiries can be made without prior registration on the digital platform. Only those registered in the EDM can make a request for an offer.

Waste Shipment – Transboundary (→ usp.gv.at)

All users who are not registered can make preliminary inquiries about transport from point A to point B (place of dispatch and destination), taking into account possible border crossings and notified routes. Calculations can only be made to the nearest respective Austrian loading points (25 % exception). Preliminary inquiries are available as one-time inquiries only. Inquiries for serial events are available only for logged-in users. EDM registration is a prerequisite for logging onto the rail platform.

Waste Shipment – Transboundary (→ usp.gv.at)

No specific documents are required.

Advice

An English registration is in the pipeline.

Pursuant to section 15 paragraph 9 and section 69 paragraph 10 of the Waste Management Act 2002 (AWG, → RIS), in principle waste with a total weight of more than ten tonnes must be transported by rail or by other means of transport with equivalent or lower pollutant or greenhouse gas potential (e.g. propulsion by fuel cell or electric motor) if the distance by road within Austria exceeds 

  • 300 km from 1st January 2023, 
  • 200 km from 1st January 2024 or 
  • 100 km from 1st January 2026.

The fastest route, i.e. the route with the shortest travel time between the place of dispatch or border crossing point and the place of destination or border crossing point, taking into account trips permitted for HGVs, is used as the benchmark for the calculation.

Only the transport distance covered in Austria is relevant for the calculation. Three cases must be distinguished:

  1. The import of waste – here the road transport distance from the border crossing to the place of destination is decisive.
  2. The transit of waste – here the road transport distance between the two border crossings is decisive.
  3. The export of waste – here the road transport distance from the place of dispatch to the border crossing point is decisive.

For waste subject to notification, in which case a precise transport route is specified, this route is decisive. If waste subject to notification is exported from several places of dispatch, the calculation must be made for each individual transport route.

The general obligation under section 15 paragraph 9 or section 69 paragraph 10 Waste Management Act 2002 (AWG, → RIS) does not apply if it is proved that:

  1. No corresponding capacities can be provided by the rail transport companies, or
  2. If for rail transport, the distance to be covered by road to and from one of the nearest loading points added 25 % or more compared to road-only transport. (so-called "25 % exception")

The confirmation of the exemption issued by the digital platform must be carried along throughout the transport operation and must be presented to the authority upon request. This confirmation is to be used exclusively for the requested transport/transports. Such confirmations are only legally valid if the information about the transport has been provided truthfully on the platform.

The digital platform is designed to issue a confirmation that no corresponding capacity can be provided by the railway companies within two working days and thus within 48 hours from the time of the inquiry, if applicable. The same applies if the requesting party has not received a response within two working days, i.e. within 48 hours from the time of the inquiry. The inquiry will not be processed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

If it is evident from the parameters specified in an inquiry that there is no obligation to transport by rail, the platform will also issue a confirmation without any delay. 

Yes, the confirmed offer is binding. 

If the railway company withdraws the inquiry within 48 hours from the receipt of the inquiry, the platform will also issue a confirmation in this case, provided that no other offer is available.