Freight News, Road

IRU calls for haulier-style rules for forwarders

[ June 12, 2014   //   ]

A senior official from the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has called for a uniform legal framework for freight forwarders in the EU, including EU-wide regulations on access to the profession and shared liability with road hauliers.

Speaking at a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) workshop on 12 June, head of EU goods transport, Marc Billiet, said that the IRU was concerned about the large variety of national rules, general lack of access to the profession and shared liability regimes, which apply to freight forwarders in different EU Member States. The resulting lack of legal certainty for road freight transport operators “could lead to further distortions of competition between service providers”, he argued

While acknoledging the forwarders’ important role in the logistics chain, handling 2/3 of goods carried by road in the EU, the forwarders’ involvement could lead to increased pressure on price and quality levels, have a negative effect on legal compliance and lead to distortion of competition.

He pointed out that while threre are rules on access to the profession of road haulier in Europe, including requirements for good repute, financial standing and professional competence, there are no such rules for forwarders.

There is also no legal clarity in cases where road hauliers fail to comply with road transport rules due to instructions from a client or forwarder, although some member states do have national rules on shared liability.