Given the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport and logistics sector in the EU, CLECAT believes that the social and market access legislation contained in the 1st Mobility Package should be carefully reassessed by incorporating amendments that would help the industry adapt to future challenges and make green post-crisis recovery possible.
In view of the vote on the second-reading amendments in the European Parliament’s Transport Committee next week, CLECAT urges the Members of the Transport Committee to take into account the remaining concerns of the transport, logistics and freight forwarding industry, outlined below, and make sure that the new rules contribute to a sustainable and well-functioning internal market for road transport, accessible to all.
- We particularly welcome the proposed removal of the mandatory 8-week return of vehicles to their home countries as well as a 4-day ‘cooling off period’ for cabotage operations. Not only would these measures undermine the economic recovery of the road transport and logistics sector post-COVID-19, following large financial losses, but also disrupt the objectives of the European Green Deal as they would lead to a substantial increase in unnecessary CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion.
- We believe that the prohibition on taking the regular weekly rest in the vehicle will be particularly unhelpful in containing the spread of COVID-19, as it will create health and safety risks for the driver. Moreover, the safety of goods will also be compromised at the time when safe and secure parking areas in the EU are lacking. Hence, we support the amendment allowing for a possibility to spend the regular weekly rest period in a vehicle, provided that it is parked on a certified safe and secure parking area, until a sufficient number of health and safety compliant overnight accommodation alternatives becomes available across the TEN-T network.
- We are of the view that more flexibility is needed to guarantee a well‐functioning internal market for road transport and to avoid additional administrative burden for the industry and enforcement authorities. We therefore welcome the amendment, which would increase the number of cross-trade operations allowed in addition to a bilateral trip without triggering the posting rules (up to 3 in total, rather than 1 in each direction or up to 2 on return).
- We are also in favour of the removal of the references to the inclusion of road legs in combined transport to the 1st Mobility Package legislation, so as to decouple combined transport from the 1st Mobility Package and allow for this issue to be dealt within the review of the Combined Transport Directive.
The second-reading procedure offers the last chance for the European Parliament to improve the 1st Mobility Package legislation and make it fit for a strong and resilient road transport and logistics market in the future, with reliable enforcement measures in place.
In the remaining phase of adopting the legislation on the 1st Mobility Package, it is up to the European Parliament to ensure that the road transport and logistics sector in Europe is able to make a sustainable long-term economic recovery, without compromising driver health and safety as well as the environmental goals of the EU.
For the original piece, please see the CLECAT website.