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EU mobility package stirs up Latvian transport sector

The recently adopted EU mobility package imposes new restrictions on road hauliers and carriers

On 8 July 2020, the European Parliament adopted a reform of the EU road transport sector – the so-called Mobility Package. This aims to ensure better working conditions for drivers and to reduce distortions of competition between road hauliers. The package comprises three key elements:

  • Organization of drivers’ working and resting hours including cabotage;
  • Posting of drivers in international transport operations;
  • Access to the road haulage market and enforcement of common rules.

Drivers are entitled to return home every three or four weeks, depending on their working schedule. It is also stipulated that the weekly rest period of at least 45 hours must be taken outside the vehicle. If this rest period is spent away from home, then accommodation expenses must be covered by the employer. These regulations came into force on 20 August 2020.

For cabotage, the current system, which allows a maximum of 3 operations in 7 days, remains unchanged. However, a waiting period of 4 days will be introduced before further cabotage operations can be carried out in the same Member State with the same vehicle.

The rules on posting will be harmonized in order to create equal conditions for all road transport drivers. At present, each country has its own arrangements for enforcing and monitoring the conditions for posting drivers and the minimum wage, but from 2 February 2022, a haulier operating in another Member State will be required to send a declaration of posting through a common system for all EU countries. However, posting rules will not apply, for example, to transit operations, but will apply to cabotage.

Rules on access to the European road haulage market and rules on working and resting hours will be extended to transport operators using light commercial vehicles of more than 2.5 tonnes.

In order to facilitate enforcement, when and where a vehicle has crossed the border has to be recorded and loading and unloading operations have to be located. A second version of the smart tachograph will be introduced in vehicles in three phases. New vehicles will have to be equipped with this device in 2023; vehicles with an analogue or digital tachograph will have to be equipped by the end of 2024 and vehicles equipped with the first version of the smart tachograph will have to adapt in 2025.

In order to combat so-called “letterbox” companies, vehicles engaged in international transport operations will be required to return to the company’s country of registration at least every 8 weeks, starting from 2022.

 

Source: Regulation (EU) 2020/1054 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2020;
               Regulation (EU) 2020/1055 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2020;
               Directive (EU) 2020/1057 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2020.

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