BRUSSELS, Dec. 4, 2018 (Press Release) -The under-signed represent the shippers, freight forwarders and express carriers whose customers strongly depend on an effective, seamless and reliable road transport sector in Europe. The Council’s General Approach in no way responds to the need for simple, uniform, clear and easily enforceable rules which would facilitate transport operations, protect the workers employed in this industry and ensure a fair competitive environment.
The associations warn against the adverse consequences of the General Approach which will put an end to the efficiency and environmental gains that European road freight transport has achieved thanks to the Single Market.
The agreement of the Council by no means responds to the complexities of today’s transport operations. Intra-EU trade has developed beyond bilateral import/export trade and so have EU’s transport systems. Excluding bilateral transport plus 2 operations through the same Member States is far from sufficient to guarantee a well-functioning internal market for road transport. The text, if implemented, would create unnecessary empty runs on EU roads. It limits flexibility, growth and efficiency and increases costs and administrative burden for business, in particular for SMEs.
Overall, the compromise will not lead to better regulation, as the stated objective of better enforcement will not be reached. The smart tachograph will only become mandatory by the end of 2024. One of the objectives of the review of the legislation was to simplify enforcement of cabotage. The Council has made current cabotage operations more complex by adding a cooling off period even though posting rules already apply as of day 1. It would lead to considerable efficiency losses and capacity gaps in road freight transport. Furthermore, it would restrict labour mobility as the suggested regulatory requirements would result in different salary levels depending on the type of transport; this is counterproductive and creates confusion for European drivers operating intra-EU and for third country drivers operating on a permit-basis in the EU.
The signatories urge the Members of the European Parliament to strive for a competitive and enforceable international transport policy by fully excluding international transport from posting rules and no cooling-off period for cabotage operations.