Standards and TSIs
In Estonia, the themes related to standards and technical regulations are regulated by the Technical Regulations and Standards Act.
Standard is a document approved by a standardisation organisation meant for common and repeated use, which contains technical specification of guidelines for an activity or its result and the usage of which is generally voluntary. Standard becomes mandatory from the moment when some legal act refers to that standard.
Estonian standard is a standard approved by the Estonian standards organisation, and it could be either a genuine Estonian standard, an international standard that is taken over, an overtaken European standard or a standard taken over from some other country.
Harmonised standard is a standard composed and approved on the basis of a mandate of the European Commission. Harmonised standards are composed taking into consideration the essential requirements given in directives and they can be used for justifying the fulfilment of the requirements of a directive.
In order to improve standardisation in the railway field, a Technical Committee EVS/TC 16 Railways is established at the Estonian Standardisation Centre. The task of the Bureau of Standards and Technical Regulations of the Railway Inspectorate is to organise and co-ordinate standardisation in the railway field. At the moment, there are about 250 standards in the railway field in Estonia, one of which is a genuine Estonian standard and all other are standards composed by the European standardisation organisations and taken over as Estonian standards.
The European Union Directive on the Interoperability of the Trans-European Conventional Railway Network, approved in 2001, stipulates the composition of Technical Specifications for Interoperability - TSI-s.
TSI is a technical regulation that is composed for each railway subsystem or its component. In TSI, the technical and functional specifications are established, interoperability components and interfaces and procedures of conformity assessment determined, etc. The European Railway Agency composes TSI-s.
If the Member States have to take over only the main principles from the directives with their legal acts, then TSI is from its nature a decision of the European Commission. This means that TSI-s are directly applicable to the Member States. The Decision of the European Commission enters into force in the whole territory of the European Union 6 months after its publication in the European Official Journal.
In January 2006, the TSI on Telematic Applications, and in February 2006, the TSI on Noise, were published in the European Official Journal.