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Regional standards pose obstacle for GCC rail network

Dubai: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries must balance sovereign regulatory standards with other member states for the GCC rail network to be successful, an adviser to the UAE’s National Transport Authority (NTA) said on Tuesday.

Vasile Nicolae Olievschi said a common regulatory framework will be necessary to ensure the efficiency of the six-member state rail network.

Speaking at the eighth annual Middle East Rail Exhibition and Conference in Dubai, he said an agreement is needed so that trains transporting cargo are not unnecessarily inspected at each border.

Talks of a GCC regulatory authority have yet to transpire into a body that will actually be able to regulate the GCC network.

However, Olievschi said that regulatory safety and custom standards are ultimately a decision for each country.

“Each country will have its national regulator with national rules but they need to be same across the board,” he said.

Another issue for Gulf countries, which are pursuing railway network that will connect all member states by 2018, is the lack of supporting framework.

Olievschi said that “adequate legal and institutional framework to run the country’s rail network” is currently missing.