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EC opens investigation into support for Romanian rail freight operator CFR Marfa

Staff Writer |
The European Commission (EC) has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether debt write-offs by the Romanian state in favour of rail freight operator CFR Marfa, and the failure to collect debts from the company, have given the company an unfair advantage in breach of EU State aid rules.

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CFR Marfa is the incumbent fully state-owned rail freight transport services provider in Romania. The company has been in economic difficulties for a number of years.

It has a high level of debt, mainly towards the national social security and tax administration agencies, as well as towards the Romanian rail infrastructure manager CFR Infrastructure, which is also fully state-owned.

Unlike passenger rail transport, the freight rail transport market in Romania is highly competitive, with numerous private operators, some having gained considerable market share following liberalisation of the market in 2007.

In March 2017, the Association of Romanian Private Rail Freight Operators filed a formal complaint with the Commission alleging that CFR Marfa had received State aid in breach of EU rules.

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