The EU Mobility Package stands as a set of legislative measures introduced by the European Commission to improve road transport within the European Union. This legislative framework, known as the EU Mobility Package I and implemented in 2023, brings forth a series of changes aimed at better working conditions for drivers, fair competition among transport companies, and curbing carbon dioxide emissions from road transport.
What is the impact of the EU Mobility Package I on drivers?
- Rest Periods: Under the new regulations, truck drivers are no longer allowed to spend their regular weekly rest periods in their vehicles. Employers have now to provide them with suitable accommodations, with adequate sleeping and sanitary facilities.
- Return Home Mandate: The package dictates that drivers must return to their home country every four weeks. This seeks to guarantee drivers adequate rest and the ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Cabotage Rules: A notable addition is the introduction of new cabotage rules, restricting the number of operations a transport company can conduct within another EU country. This may particularly impact drivers engaged in frequent cross-border operations.
- Working Conditions: EU Mobility Package I aims to enhance working conditions for drivers by enforcing rules on driving times and rest periods.
These changes need adaptation from transport companies, both in terms of equipment and adherence to new regulations.
Equipment Adaptation: Smart Tacho 2
In response to the EU Mobility Package directives, a new generation of tachographs, namely Smart Tachographs version 2, has been developed. As of August 21, 2023, new vehicles are required to be fitted with Smart Tacho 2. Additionally, by the end of 2024, all old analog or digital tachographs in vehicles used for cross-border assignments must be replaced, excluding first-generation intelligent tachographs (Smart Tacho 1), which must be upgraded by August 2025.
Which rules need to be followed in order to be compliant with the EU Mobility Package I?
- As per EU Mobility Package I, it is now mandatory to manually record border crossings in the tachograph by entering the country symbol after crossing a border.
- Vehicles engaged in international transport are obliged to return to the country of registration every eight weeks at the latest.
- Cabotage operations are prohibited for four days after the end of authorized cabotage transport operations in an EU member state.
- Operators require a community road transport license for light vehicles weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes.