On September 27, 2016, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Norway, expressed their concern for abuse of the internal market in a letter to Commissioner Violeta Bulc.
Although the ministers strongly support free movement, with regard to international road haulage they are worried about abuse to avoid the application of the European rules, which guarantee fair competition. Additionally, they expressed concern over the increase of illegal activities and unfair business practices. As this causes safety risks for road transport, the ministers argue that it is important to take measures at the European level against such practices. In this regard the ministers emphasized the following subject areas:
- Ban on the practice of spending the regular weekly rest period in the driver’s cab.
- Strengthening and harmonization of the controls
- Measures suppressing the activities of letter box companies and other improper practices.
- Measures to prevent the disproportionate development of the use of light commercial vehicles for international transport operations
For European shippers harmonization of European rules and the tackling of illegal practices are beneficial. New measures should, however, always be fair and proportionate.