The EU Parliament has adopted the compromise on the first EU mobility package negotiated with the EU Council. After more than three years of negotiations, the comprehensive reform for the road transport sector in Europe can now come into force – staggered between 2020 and 2025. “The Mobility Package I will make freight transport fairer, more effective and safer throughout the EU,” Andreas Scheuer, German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, told the media.
The first EU mobility package consists of a regulation governing access to the road haulage market and access to the profession of transport operator, a regulation on maximum working hours and minimum rest periods for drivers and on positioning by means of tachographs, and a directive revising the enforcement requirements and laying down rules for the posting of drivers.
According to a communication from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, these are the most important changes in Mobility Package I:
In the future, there will be an explicit and absolute ban throughout the EU on taking the regular weekly rest period in a vehicle. The regulation ensures legal clarity.
Weekly rest periods: Drivers in international traffic may take two shortened weekly rest periods in succession. The reduction must then be compensated accordingly.
Undertakings will be obliged to organise international journeys in such a way that drivers can regularly return to their place of business or residence at least every four weeks.
By 2025 at the latest, all heavy goods vehicles (trucks, buses) must be equipped or converted with the intelligent tachograph of the so-called second version. The aim is to achieve more efficient control of and compliance with the legally prescribed driving and rest periods.
The cabotage regulations will also be reformed. The rule that three cabotage transport operations may be carried out within seven days will be retained. What is new is that a so-called cooling-off period of four days must then be observed. Only after these four days have elapsed may cabotage transport operations be carried out again in the same Member State. In future, these regulations are also to apply to light commercial vehicles of 2.5 tonnes and over.
Another new feature is the regular obligation for vehicles to return to the Member State of establishment every eight weeks. This is intended to prevent “letterbox companies”.
Legal clarity now also applies to the application of the special posting regulations for professional drivers. Here, special regulations for professional drivers have been created within the framework of Mobility Package I – including minimum wage and holiday entitlement.
Light commercial vehicles over 2.5 tons will in future be included in the regulations on market access, driving and rest periods and the tachograph.
Daniel Mahnken is a Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Saloodo!. As a qualified journalist, writing is practically in his blood. After studying sports journalism, he wanted to become Germany’s Next Sports Commentator, but then he discovered logistics and has been stuck with it ever since.