ORR is not the safety or economic regulator for the Channel Tunnel. Those roles are currently carried out by the bi-national (UK and French) Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission (IGC).
Safety and economic regulation are a key part of IGC's responsibility to supervise and monitor all matters relating to the operation of the Channel Tunnel.
The infrastructure manager for the Channel Tunnel rail network is Eurotunnel, the trading name of the two private companies who won the 99 year concession (which expires in 2086) to build and operate the Channel Tunnel.
The main operators using the Tunnel are:
- Eurotunnel's own cross-Channel passenger vehicle and HGV Shuttle service;
- Eurostar International Limited;
- Several rail freight operators.
In respect of the Channel Tunnel, IGC is responsible for:
- Safety authorisation of the infrastructure manager and its Shuttle services;
- Safety certification of train operators using the Tunnel;
- Authorisation to place rail vehicles into service;
- Regulation of access to the Channel Tunnel network, including charges;
- Determining appeals from train operators concerning Eurotunnel's management of the network;
- Facilitating a joined-up approach to physical security and border control arrangements, which remain subject to national jurisdiction;
- Monitoring and enforcing Eurotunnel's compliance with its Concession Agreement, on behalf of the UK and French governments.
ORR provides the IGC's secretariat and several of its members. We also provide all but one of the UK members of the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority (CTSA, which is IGC's statutory independent safety advisory body) and all the UK members of IGC's joint economic committee (which advises IGC on access regulation).
The IGC's official website, available in English and French, includes an explanation of IGC and CTSA's roles and responsibilities (including the special legal framework for the Channel Tunnel) and is the home of all the IGC's published decisions, correspondence, reports and guidance documents.