MEPs adopt revised rules for road haulage operations in another EU country

trucks 2019

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


New provisions to tackle letterbox companies, improve enforcement of cabotage rules and prevent fraud in road transport were adopted by the Transport Committee on Thursday.

MEPs want companies to be entitled to make deliveries within another EU country for three days after a cross-border delivery to improve enforceability and help avoid “empty runs” of trucks. Current legislation allows for three operations within seven days.

To prevent systemic cabotage, after this period, trucks will not be permitted to carry out new cabotage operations in the same country within two and a half days after they return to their country of establishment.

Vehicles also have to load or unload once every four weeks in the member state in which the company is registered, MEPs say.

Crack-down on letterbox companies and abusive use of vans

To tackle the issue of letterbox companies, road haulage businesses would have to provide proof of substantial activities in the member state where they are registered. With an increasing number of companies using light commercial vehicles (LCVs), MEPs propose that companies using LCVs above 2.4 tonnes for international transport would also need to follow EU rules on becoming a road transport operator to avoid market distortion.

Track the “black sheep”, reduce red tape and checks on law-abiding companies

MEPs want electronic documents and digital technologies to be used more efficiently to help ease the burden for drivers and reduce road-check times. National authorities should step up cross-border cooperation to help identify and focus on companies with poor compliance records, while cutting back on random checks on law-abiding operators.

Transport Committee MEPs also want member states to impose penalties against consignors, freight forwarders, contractors and subcontractors, where they know or ought to know that transport operators are breaking the rules.

Next steps

Transport Committee MEPs adopted amendments to the proposal on cabotage rules and rules on access to the profession of road transport operator with 27 votes in favour and 21 against and rejected amendments tabled for the reports on rest times and posting of drivers. Transport committee coordinators will discuss how to proceed with the three mobility package proposals at the next coordinators’ meeting.

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