Last Monday the Council finalised a common approach for important parts of the first Mobility Package. The agreement was reached, although 10 Member States voted against the agreement.
An important feature of the agreement is the exemption of bilateral transport from the rules on posting.
In bilateral transport it will be possible to perform one cross-trade operation in a Member State of transit and one heading back to the country of departure. If no additional load is taken during the onward travel, two additional loadings are allowed on the way back.
As for cabotage, it remains as it is – three operations in seven day. But the agreement introduces a cooling down for the driver after cabotage.
On the enforcement side, a key is the introduction of the new generation of smart tachographs. The foreseen date of implementation is 2024 which, according to the producers of tachographs, is realistic. For the long weekend rest, sleeping in the cabin remains forbidden, as under the present legislation.
Next steps: the Transport Committee of the European Parliament will prepare a position. Their first meeting is scheduled for 10th January 2019. If this proves to be feasible, the trilogue (a discussion with the Council and Commission) can start in February 2019. As elections to the European Parliament will start in May, the time to reach a compromise is very short.
ESC is concerned about the consequences that the Council Common Approach will have on the lack of drivers. The cooling down period introduced in cabotage could reduce the capacity. ESC will carefully follow the rest of the process.