Forwarding, Freight News, Logistics, Road

Clecat gives cautious welcome to new road rules

[ July 10, 2020   //   ]

With the European Parliament agreeing the 1st Mobility Package to reform road freight transport on 8 July, European forwarders’ organisation Clecat said it welcomed the uniform legal framework for the industry but warned against unintended yet far-reaching implications of the new regulatory package.

Director general Nicolette van der Jagt said the result was “a complex compromise, and it remains to be seen whether the agreement reached will lead to an alignment of competitive and social regulations, as well as to a more precise definition of market access conditions. This is why the implementation guidelines that the European Commission is currently preparing are of utmost importance for the industry.”

“Throughout the three-year-long legislative process, Clecat campaigned against some of the package’s provisions, saying that they would create more administrative burden for freight forwarding companies, their transport service providers and even enforcement authorities. The new rules will also put the ambitious environmental objectives of the European Commission at risk. “We are therefore pleased that the Commission has initiated additional impact assessments of certain measures,” said van der Jagt. 

In particular, Clecat regrets that the main industry concerns were not taken into account over the posting obligation for international transport, as well as “generally unclear and hardly enforceable posting rules”, the mandatory eight-week return of vehicles to the country of establishment, the four-day ‘cooling-off’ period and other restrictions on cabotage operations, as well as the prohibition to spend the weekly rest in the cabin.

However, van der Jagt acknowledged: “All things considered, however, we appreciate that without any conclusions on the 1st Mobility Package different interpretations of the rules would continue to prevail among the member states, leading to further internal market fragmentation and disproportionate national measures that hamper the free movement of goods in the EU. While the results of the 1st Mobility Package are not necessarily satisfactory, its adoption will at least provide planning security for European freight forwarders and logistics service providers, as well as their customers.”