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Cabotage under scrutiny again

[ February 28, 2012   //   ]

The European Commission met with stakeholders to discuss further opening of the road freight cabotage market on 28 February. The hearing will provide information for a report to be drafted by the Commission in 2013.

Under existing rules, introduced in May 2010, an operator may carry out up to three cabotage operations within seven days after unloading an international consignment. However, the Commission wants to build a Single European Transport Area in which restrictions on the activities of non-resident operators are kept to a minimum, if not completely eliminated.

The existing regulation 1072/2009 also requires the Commission to carry out an assessment by 2013 of the market situation and to analyse whether it has progressed to a point where further market opening can be considered. If this is the case, the Commission should accompany this report by a legislative proposal.

According to the Commission, in 2010, almost a quarter of all vehicle-km of heavy goods vehicles in the EU were empty and relaxing the rules would allow hauliers to optimise fleet management and loads. However, it also noted that disparities still exist between member states in enforcing the rules on employment conditions.

EU vice-president Siim Kallas has called for a high-level group of independent academic experts to deliver their assessment on the internal market for road haulage by May 2012 which the Commission will take into account in its report.