21 March 2013

CLECAT welcomes Court decision in Italy on minimum safety costs in Road Transport

The European Freight Forwarders' Organisation, CLECAT, has welcomed a decision from the Italian Regional Administrative Court regarding the controversial system of the minimum safety costs governing the national road transport sector in Italy since 2008.[i] 

Following appeals from a number of Italian associations representing industry, freight forwarding and logistics, who argued that the system is not compliant with EU competition law, the Court decided last Friday to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.  CLECAT and its members are hopeful that the European Court will judge that the national law is not compatible with the cornerstones of the internal market, in particular the free circulation of enterprise, right of establishment and freedom to provide services and with the EU competition rules (art 49 and 56, 96, 101 TFEU).

Minimum road transport costs was introduced with the aim to protect road and social safety to guarantee healthy competition and fight social dumping. However, in the view of freight forwarders and other shippers’ groups in Italy, minimum costs provide for the artificial fixing of minimum prices for road haulage, which corresponds to the introduction of mandatory tariffs, without the provision of a parameter for improving road safety.

The Regional Administrative Court wrote in its ordinance that the ‘pre-determination of the costs of certain activities doesn’t represent an appropriate measure to guarantee safety, if not related to the adoption of other safety measures.’


The law, which only applies to road freight companies registered in Italy, remains applicable as the Regional Administrative Court suspended the judgment, waiting for a reply by the Court of Justice.  For the reason, CLECAT is hopeful that the Court of Justice will proceed urgently with the issue as the problems of unfair competition and distortions in the internal market continue to raise concerns from those that need to rely on competitive road freight services. 

[1] as in article 83 bis of Law 133/2008

For more information please contact:


Nicolette van der Jagt

Director General


Tel + 32 2 5034752