Limits on hauliers’ days abroad amounts to no more than protectionism

May 31, 2017


Today the European Commission unveiled its ’Mobility Package’ that attempt to tackle ongoing concerns over working conditions in the transport sector as well as proposes new measures to boost sustainability and fair competition.

ECR transport spokesman and Latvian MEP Roberts Zile is concerned that tackling supposed unfair competition such as by introducing new requirements for hauliers operating vans under 3,5 tonnes (LCVs), will encourage the Member States pursue protectionist measures.

This would not only increase red tape and administrative burdens for transport companies, particularly those from the EU’s periphery that as a consequence would erode the EU single market in transport.

The Commission has proposed 5 day period to perform the international cabotage operations. On sector-specific regulation regarding the posting of drivers, Commission proposes 3 days after which drivers will be considered as posted workers and therefore will come under local labour rules of specific country.

Commenting Mr Zile said:

“The fact that the two most crucial elements of the Mobility Package continue to raise heated discussions shows how complicated and politically important these proposals are.”

“However the proposed period for cabotage operations and a number of days for application of posted workers provisions can be regarded as the protectionism obstacles that would further split the EU internal market, because these thresholds are too low to for the transport companies especially from the EU peripheral countries”.

ECR Polish MEP Kosma Zlotowski also argues that the Commission’s approach only partially responds to market disruption in this sector.

“The proposals do not solve the most important issues in the haulage sector. Limiting the period time a driver can work internationally does not take account of the reality of long-haul transport operations.

“There are also similar doubts regarding changes to rules on weekly rest periods in a vehicle. The proposals may fit well with short-haul transport operations, but such services are not the daily reality of haulage companies from Central and Eastern Europe.”