09 January 2019

Fight the right battle: Stop illegal practices in road transport but not at the cost of efficiency, enforcement and growth

Tomorrow’s vote in the European Parliament’s Transport & Tourism Committee on the Kyllönen report will be the last chance for transport experts in the European Parliament to ensure a well-functioning EU road transport sector. The undersigned associations urge MEPs to agree on a posting regime for international road transport that is more flexible than the Council’s General Approach of December 3, 2018, so that the EU’s objectives for better enforcement, a new boost for growth and CO2 efficiency in transport do not remain hollow words.

The undersigned associations represent freight forwarders and express carriers whose customers heavily depend on an effective, seamless and reliable road transport sector.

Excluding merely bilateral transport plus very limited loading/unloading activity from the posting of workers rules will by far not be sufficient to ensure a well-functioning internal market for road transport. Such an approach does not recognise the international character of road transport, decreases labour mobility in times of EU-wide driver shortage, and ignores trade imbalances between different regions in the EU that result in different transport needs.

The sector therefore needs additional flexibility – ideally a full exclusion of international transport from posting rules or at least the exclusion of a fair number of loadings and unloadings.

Only with this additional flexibility will the EU be able to deliver on its promises on

  • Better enforcement: National authorities need clear and enforceable rules so they can focus their attention on fighting illegal practices in road freight transport (such as nomadic driving or letterbox companies); hauliers, especially SMEs, do not benefit from additional administrative burden with no clear effect on transport practices;
  • Boost for growth: International transport is key for the EU’s competitiveness and for EU citizens who have the right to benefit from competitive transport providers that are not hindered by unenforceable and disproportionate legislation.
  • CO2 efficiency in transport: Every carrier aims at operating with full truck-loads leaving and returning to the Member State of establishment irrespective of whether it is a bilateral transport or a cross-trade operation; the haulier’s intention is always to operate with maximum efficiency, subsequently reducing its environmental impact by avoiding empty runs.

The undersigned associations are counting on the European Parliament’s Transport & Tourism Committee to realise these objectives by allowing the above-mentioned flexibility. This would prevent the continued imposition of national posting regimes and put an end to further uncertainty and disproportionate administrative burdens which have an adverse effect on transport operations, those employed in the industry and businesses relying on transport and logistics

The press release is available below.