More information on new rules on drivers' working conditions and competition in road transport
Further information on Transport Committee’s vote on 4 June 2018 on competition in EU road transport market and truck drivers’ working conditions.
Posting of drivers
Posted workers rules on “equal pay for equal work” would apply to drivers during cabotage operations, providing clarity for operators and ensuring equal conditions for drivers. Transport Committee MEPs voted against a proposal to include also international transport in this obligation.
To ensure that there is no excessive red tape, MEPs backed rules that provide a closed list of administrative requirements and control measures that national authorities can impose.
To speed up investigations into fraud related to rules on working time, rest time and posting of drivers, MEPs propose shorter time limits for member state authorities to reply to requests for information from other member states.
The rules set the minimum number of “concerted checks” - roadside checks carried out at the same time by the enforcement authorities of two or more member states.
To limit red tape and improve efficiency, enforcement should focus on companies with a higher risk rating.
Transport MEPs also want member states to lay down penalties against consignors, freight forwarders, contractors and subcontractors, where they know or ought to know that transport operators are breaking the rules.
With an increasing number of companies only 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 stable establishment, cabotage and driving time, to avoid possible loopholes.
To tackle the phenomenon of letterbox companies, the changes to establishment rules for road transport companies require that businesses have a “real and continuous presence” in the member state where they are registered and set criteria to assess this. These include frequency of loading and unloading of goods in the country of registration and sufficient number of parking spaces for their vehicles.
Member states should check regularly that companies fulfil the establishment requirements, the national registers of road hauliers should be interconnected and member states should reply to information requests within given time limits to improve investigations.
Time limits for cabotage
Transport MEPs propose that cabotage operations are allowed in the member state where an international delivery was made or in a contiguous member state, on the way back to the haulier’s member state of registration, for a total of seven days.
Within the 7 day period, cabotage operations in one member state should be limited to 48 hours, to prevent these from being carried out on a systematic basis that distorts national markets.
Cabotage would not be allowed in the same country before 72 hours have passed after the return of the truck to its member state of registration.
Rest conditions for drivers and flexibility for operators
The draft rules require weekly rest, a required rest after every six days of work to be taken in accommodation provided by the company or in the truck cab, but then only when the truck is parked in a dedicated parking area with sufficient facilities and security. MEPs provide a detailed list of facilities (e.g. cooking and sanitary facilities and WIFI) and security features that these dedicated parking areas must have.
When accompanying a truck on a ferry or a train, the drivers must have access to a sleeper cabin, bunk or couchette for taking their daily rest. When taking the weekly rest in such circumstances, they must have access to a sleeper cabin.
To help reduce long periods on the road, the draft rules say that the work should be arranged in a way that would allow drivers to take a weekly rest at home or another location of the driver's choosing before the end of each period of three consecutive weeks of working. If they choose to go home, that should happen at the company’s expense.
For smoother transport operations, the draft rules provide for more flexibility in taking the weekly rest, as long as it is compensated with equivalent rest time later. Drivers are also allowed to exceed the daily driving time by two hours to return to the haulier’s operational centre, as long as this is compensated with equal rest time later.