MEPs endorsed all three legal acts without any amendments, as adopted by EU ministers in April 2020. The revised rules will ensure, safer roads, clearer working conditions for drivers, an end to social dumping and a more sustainable business environment for operators. The Commission will issue guidelines in the Autumn to clarify any questions or queries that drivers, employers or enforcers may have.
An end to poor working conditions for drivers
The new rules will help to ensure better rest conditions and allow drivers to spend more time at home. The provision of safe and secure parking will be made available to support driver resting conditions. The mandatory regular weekly rest cannot be taken in the truck cab. If this rest period is taken away from home, the company must pay for accommodation costs. Companies will have to organise their timetables so that drivers in international freight transport are able to return home at regular intervals (every three or four weeks depending on the work schedule).
Fairer competition and fighting illegal practices
An over capacity of 25% in road transport has caused lowering of prices and services. This situation is unsustainable and results in many drivers being left sitting in ports and yards for days waiting on loads. The new rules address this problem by using vehicle tachographs to register border-crossings in order to tackle fraud. To prevent systematic cabotage, there will be a cooling-off period of four days before more cabotage operations can be carried out within the same country with the same vehicle. To fight the use of letterbox companies, road haulage businesses would need to be able to demonstrate that they are substantially active in the member state in which they are registered. The new rules will also require trucks to return to the company’s operational centre every eight weeks. Using light commercial vehicles of over 2.5 tonnes will also be subject to EU rules for transport operators, including equipping the vans with a tachograph. Tachographs will be mandatory in these vehicles by 2026.
Clear rules on posting of drivers to ensure equal pay and conditions.
The new rules will give a clear legal framework to prevent differing national approaches and ensure fair remuneration for drivers. Posting rules will apply to cabotage and international transport operations, excluding transit operations.
The adopted rules will enter into force after they are published in the Official Journal of the EU in the coming weeks. The rules on posting will apply 18 months after the entry into force of the legal act. The rules on rest times, including the return of drivers, will apply 20 days after publication of the act. Rules on the return of trucks and other changes to market access rules will apply 18 months after the entry into force of the act on market access.
(source: EU Press officer Inga Hoglund)
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