On 31st May 2017, the European Commission published a large package of legislation on road transportation. This package will amend several already existing directives, such as access to the market and the tachograph directive. Main features of the so-called Mobility Package are the liberalization of cabotage and a more stringent regime on paying the minimum wage of the country where a service is delivered.
Cabotage under the present legislation (national transport after an international transport) is possible for 3 voyages in 7 days. Under the proposals, this will be extended to an unlimited number of voyages in 5 days. This extension of cabotage is welcomed by ESC as it increases the possibilities for a more efficient and sustainable road transport. Cabotage should take place under local conditions.
The Commission also proposes to apply the local minimum wage in the case of international transport. If within a month a driver spends a period exceeding 3 days, the minimum wage of that country should apply. This can be more than one Member State in a month. ESC welcomes the harmonization of the legal regimes as now Member States apply the minimum wage in their own way. For instance, Austria, Italy, France, and Germany apply complicated regulation with different requirements on carriers and shippers. However, ESC is still concerned that the proposals will also cause a lot of red tape when organizing international transport operations.
During the long-weekend rest periods, drivers, according to the proposals, will not be allowed to sleep in their cabins. Already now, Belgium, France and Germany do not allow this. It would be good to have a level playing field in this respect too. ESC considers the present complete ban as too rigid, and is supporting the need for drivers to have access to basic sanitary facilities such as showers and toilets during their weekend rest.
ESC applauds the fact that vans used in the own account transport will not be included in all arrangements applying for international transport (such as the use of tachograph).
ESC largely supports the direction the European Commission has taken in its proposals. It is important that the transport market in the EU should be liberalized as soon as this is feasible. For instance, if loans are converting in the EU. The present proposals close the door for this liberalization. Further on, it is important to analyse the consequences of this proposals for the availability of drivers as this is becoming a big challenge for shippers already.
ESC will meet stakeholders (such as the rapporteurs in the European Parliament) and counts on its national councils to do the same with the Ministers and Members of Parliament. The whole discussions will take at least a period of 3 years as the MS are supporting very different views on the proposals.
Please see the ESC Press Release on Mobility Package here.