Press release on the cross-border operations of Modular Concepts

Directive 96/53/EC allows cross-border operations of modular concepts in Europe between Member States that allow them on their territory

CLECAT issues today a position paper that examines the consolidated text of the Council Directive 96/53/EC laying down for certain road vehicles circulating within the Community the maximum authorized dimensions in national and international traffic and the maximum authorized weights in international traffic, with a view to understanding its impact on the circulation of European Modular System (modular concept) combinations in the European Union.

By performing a rational analysis of Directive 96/53/EC in line with the spirit of the original intention of the legislation, the CLECAT Road Transport Institute has come to the conclusion that the current EU legislation allows cross border operations of modular concept combinations between member states, on condition that these member states allow modular concept operations within their own territory even in their national transport operations. An additional condition is that the member states where such operations take place have informed the Commission.

Marco Sorgetti , Director-General of Clecat made the following comment, when discussing with Mr Stefan Back , Chairman of the Clecat Road Transport Institute: “Common sense is very good guidance even in the most complicated legalistic discussions. The overarching principle of the directive is to create the conditions to further open the market, without creating distortions of competition. In other words the directive is intended to prevent member states from excessive protectionism by restricting the circulation, certainly not to prevent them from creating more flexible rules by allowing the circulations of such vehicles within their territory, as long as all operators stand on the same footing.”

Mr Back observed that “after reading this interpretation one is surprised that the strong emotions felt by some stakeholders made it possible for some to read this directive in a way that was clearly never meant”. 

Mr Sorgetti added that “we can only hope the institutions will now take the view that there is no harm for member states to allow the use of these vehicle: this will contribute to reducing emissions that are a very serious problem and eventually provide some extra efficiency in our multi-modal operations, which are likely to greatly benefit from these combinations that are perfectly suited to intermodal transport.”
The position paper can be consulted at the following link:

The Road Transport Institute of Clecat, after the endorsement of the interpretation, took the view that this position paper be open to further signatures of stakeholders who share the same views on this interpretation of Directive 96/53/EC. All interested parties are welcome to take contact with the Clecat secretariat.

Should you like further information you may contact our Secretariat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Mr Marco Sorgetti
Director General
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CLECAT press release (pdf version)  

Reply from the Vice-President of the European Commission Siim Kallas

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