Six EU Transport Ministers are calling for tighter rules on cabotage in relation to road haulage. The French Junior Minister For Transport, Frédéric Cuvillier, has written to the European Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, demanding that he “take measures as soon as possible” to address infringements of cabotage regulations in the Road Haulage sector.
Cuvillier said “It is urgent that a clear framework be established to prevent such regulations being undermined as well as provision to strengthen controls and improve existing legislation in order to combat the distortion of competition in road haulage.” The letter was also signed by his counterparts in Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland and Italy.
EU Road Transport Hauliers are currently allowed to carry out a maximum of three domestic transport operations in member states over a 7 day period, immediately following an international operation. Earlier this year Kallas bowed to pressure from Road Haulage federations to shelve plans to introduce a cabotage scheme without restrictions across the EU from 2014.
Mr Cuvillier has invited his European counterparts to a conference in Paris next Spring to discuss unfair competition in Road Haulage in the EU. It will include the ‘harmonisation of EU regulations relating to the employment of truck drivers – rest periods and the duration of time spent behind the wheel, for example, as well as the conditions governing the admission to the occupation of road haulage operator.’
Hauliers have long fought unfair competition from lower cost base trucking companies in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe.