EU Mobility Package introduces new rules on road transport
The social and market aspects of the EU Mobility Package for road transport have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 31 July 2020, in line with the agreement reached earlier in the negotiations. The Mobility Package clarifies previously ambiguous regulations in the sector and harmonises their application in different Member States. Uniform rules also promote road safety for all road users.
The application of the Mobility Package will begin on 20 August 2020 when the provisions on driving and rest periods enter into force. The rules in the market access regulation and the posting directive will become applicable 18 months after the entry into force of the legislation, with the exception of special deadlines for tachographs.
The Mobility Package aims to harmonise the regulation of the EU's internal market in road transport, improve the working conditions of drivers and make enforcement more efficient. The package consists of a regulation governing access to the road haulage market and to the profession of road haulage operator or road passenger transport operator; a regulation on maximum work and minimum rest times for drivers and positioning by means of tachographs; and a directive revising enforcement requirements and laying down rules on posting of drivers.
The new rules will introduce special posting rules for drivers in international transport. The aim is to improve the working and social conditions of drivers in international transport and to ensure that road haulage operators have equal freedom to provide their services in the EU's internal market.
Special rules will apply on cabotage and international transport. Cabotage means transport operations within the borders of one state using a vehicle registered in another country. However, transit operations, bilateral transport operations and bilateral transport operations involving two additional activities of loading or unloading are excluded from the scope of application.
In order to prevent systematic cabotage, a four-day waiting period is required before cabotage operations can be carried out in the same country with the same vehicle.
Transport undertakings must arrange their timetables so that drivers operating in international freight transport can return home regularly, every three to four weeks, depending on the work schedule.
Freight operators must be able to demonstrate that they are active in the Member State in which they are registered. Therefore, trucks must return to their country of registration at least every two months. The aim is to prevent the creation and operation of so-called letterbox companies.
As a result of the new rules, long ferry journeys can be considered rest periods in the future, and the maximum daily driving time can be exceeded by one hour when returning home for a weekly rest period. Alternatively, the driver may extend the driving time by two hours to take a normal weekly rest if preceded by a break of 30 minutes.
In order to make enforcement more efficient, vehicles engaged in international transport must be equipped with a smart tachograph that automatically records border crossings, driving times and rest periods by 2023. In addition to trucks and buses, the EU regulations will apply to vans (with unladen mass of over 2,500 kg) operating in international trade in goods.
The preparation of national legislation will begin in the autumn.
Elisa Vornanen, Senior Specialist, +358 50 511 6405