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Rail industry welcomes Bundestag’s decision to reform construction contract law

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On the second and third reading, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, today deliberated and adopted a bill for reforming construction contract law and amending the liability for defects in procurement agreements. In doing so, the legislator has deleted a passage that is particularly disputed from the point of view of the German Rail Industry Association (VDB). The result that has now been concluded secures the balance in construction projects between clients and companies.

"The Bundestag has cleared a massive stumbling block for realising increased investment funding in construction projects. This decision is of crucial importance for the railway industry in Germany,” commented VDB Chief Executive Dr. Ben Möbius. “This is because Germany's railways need to be modernised and expanded. The government is providing considerably more investment for this purpose during the next few years. To ensure that these monies flow effectively into the rail infrastructure requires reliable cooperation between the clients and companies involved. This will continue to be ensured under the new law.”

The legislator has deleted Article 650c (4) of the draft law, which the VDB had viewed critically. This would have revoked the previously valid and tried-and-tested consensus in construction projects, because it would have legally privileged the client one-sidedly. The building contractor would therefore have been unfairly disadvantaged. With the bill that has now been adopted, the Bundestag is following not only the suggestion of the VDB, but also the resolution proposed by the Bundstag’s Legal Affairs Committee. “The Bundestag has removed a critical, even unconstitutional imbalance. The law that has now been passed can maintain a good partnership for a modern rail infrastructure,” said Möbius.

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