kzkThe Sector Inquiry into the Rail Freight Transport Market in the Republic of Serbia is done in cooperation with the WB Group representatives under the Serbia Investment Climate Program. Under the Program, the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the International Finance Cooperation have signed the Agreement on Cooperation envisaging, inter alia, the provision of technical support by the WBG to the Commission for Protection of Competition to boost competition and regulate markets in the Republic Serbia. The selection and prioritization of sectors are carried out based on the WBG Markets and Competition Policy Assessment Tool (MCPAT). For the purposes of this project, the inquiry was conducted by the Compass Lexecon and Karanović & Partners Consortium.

The subject of the inquiry is the market for cargo transportation by railway, providing an in-depth analysis of the competition environment of this market along the value/supply chain, market structure and dynamics, regulatory environment and market performances, in addition to identifying practices and rules that can distort the level playing field and facilitate non-competitive market outcomes.

The inquiry found no material elements that would indicate an infringement of the competition rules. Instead, the main reasons for insufficient market development established in the Report are as follows: low quality of rail infrastructure, outdated train path allocation procedures, and the lack of intermodal transport terminals, constituting substantial barriers to entry and business growth. Despite the deficiencies noted, it is established that the cargo transportation market in the Republic of Serbia is still in the early stages of development since it is open to competition only since 2016. As one of the reasons for such suboptimal situation, the authors also state the domestic price regulation policy in force, noting that the fixed tariffs for national transportation services as provided by the Government of the Republic of Serbia hinder price competitiveness.

The Commission hereby wishes to express its gratitude to all undertakings providing requested information during the inquiry and invites all persons and other experts to provide their commentaries to the Report no later than September 10, 2020, to the email address, with annotation: Commentary to the Sector Inquiry into the Rail Freight