Road haulage: restrictions on cabotage to go by 2014
Brussels, Belgium – Restrictions on cabotage – the transport of goods within a Member State by a haulier from another Member State – must be lifted by 1 January 2014, decided the Transport Committee on 22 January. In an EU market with 855,000 road haulage operators, where fiscal and social conditions have been much more extensively harmonised than those that prevailed in the 1960s, when most cabotage rules were introduced, these restrictions should gradually disappear, MEPs said.
The international road transport market has been liberalised since 1998, but cabotage rules still exist, and differ from one Member State to the next. So rapporteur Matthieu Grosch (EPP-ED, BE) and the committee welcomed European Commission proposals to reform road haulage rules that allow a haulier to make no more than three cabotage trips in the week following any journey.
The committee also voted on another report by Mr Grosch, on Commission proposals to simplifying the EU rules governing the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus.
Minor infringements by lorry drivers
Most of the committee’s amendments to both reports concerned minor infringements of any rules committed by drivers whilst in another Member State. These infringements should not be covered by the new Commission proposals, the Committee said, as long as they are interpreted and dealt with in widely different ways in the Member States. Serious infringements, however, should be entered in the national registers of the Member States, it said.
The report on the international haulage market (co-decision, first reading) was adopted with 32 votes in favour, 12 against and with 3 abstentions.
The report on international carriage by coach and bus was adopted by 46 votes in favour, 0 against and 3 abstentions.
Both reports are scheduled for a plenary vote in April, in Strasbourg.
Committee on Transport and Tourism
In the chair: Paolo Costa (ALDE, IT)
Procedure: co-decision, first reading
Plenary vote: Strasbourg, April