ACM conditionally approves ProRail's calculation methods for the infrastructure charge


The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has approved two methods used by Dutch network infrastructure manager ProRail for the calculation of the infrastructure charge that rail undertakings have to pay for using the Dutch rail infrastructure. Using these methods, ProRail are able to set the tariffs for 2020 and beyond.

Conditions and limited validity period

ACM has set a number of conditions for the application of the method for the calculation of the charge for the minimum access package, and has limited the period within which this method is valid. ProRail should provide more information about the cost breakdown underlying the method before it can be applied. ACM considers the supplied information to be insufficiently transparent.

ACM also limited its approval of the method for the calculation of the charge for the minimum access package to a period of three years, instead of five years as requested by ProRail. Henk Don, acting Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: "Some parts of the cost allocation currently rely on data covering just a single year. It will take some time to broaden that basis. That is why ACM has chosen to set the allocation method for just three years of service, instead of the requested five years. After three years, the method will have to be adjusted on a number of points, and ACM will then re-evaluate it."

Cost allocation methods

ACM's decisions concern the cost allocation methods that ProRail uses to determine the level of the charge for the minimum access package (VMT) and the additional charge within the meaning of Sections 62 and 63 of the Dutch Railway Act. Both the VMT as well as the additional charge are passed on by ProRail to rail undertakings that use the Dutch rail infrastructure.

The approval period for the allocation method of the VMT is from 15 December 2019 through 11 December 2022. Certain conditions have been attached to this approval.

The allocation method of the additional charge has been approved by ACM for a period of five years, from 2020 through 2024.