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In order to avoid empty trips every haulier will now be automatically entitled to carry out up to three cabotage operations within seven days after the unloading of any international transport, which can be proven with the freight document alone. Regulations also state that in order to exchange quickly and efficiently information on committed infringements, national registers of road transport undertakings have to be created in each of the 27 Member States and all of them have to be linked electronically.

The new rules also state the most serious infringements which, due to their gravity and their impact on road safety, could lead to a road transport operator loosing its right to work in the sector. The road package also includes requirements, for example on the establishment of undertakings (aimed to combat so-called ”letter box“ companies which distort competition) or on designating a transport manager who will be responsible for respecting road transport rules. Besides requirements, there are derogations too, for example allowing drivers of certain types of passenger transport to take the compulsory weekly rest period after 12 days instead of 6 in order to facilitate coach holidays.

”This road package comes at a crucial time when the road transport industry needs clear and effective rules to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy. The package balances the need for harmonised rules and free access to transport markets. I firmly believe that these rules will bring about significant cost savings and provide a more equal playing field for all those involved in the industry,“ said Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for Transport. Yet the Commissioner optimism seems to not take into account the fact that these new rules will apply in 24 months from date of publication, because there’s need for technical adaptations and accompanying measures at national level (the provisions on cabotage and 12 days derogation for the rest period for tour coach drivers will however apply within six months).

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