The European Parliament’s position on the revision of road haulage rules this week (4 April 2019) is damaging to international road haulage, according to FTAI. The leading logistics organisation is calling for the European Parliament and EU Member States to adopt a more realistic approach during the next phase of negotiations, particularly in relation to the complex proposed cabotage arrangements and the proposals mandating the frequency at which drivers must return to their base.
Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI, commented on the position: “FTAI is calling on the European Parliament and EU Member States to adopt a more realistic approach to cabotage; the rules are too complex and will make it much more difficult for businesses to plan their transport operations, particularly given Ireland’s geographical location, and it will also increase empty runs. Operators have limited opportunities to optimise usage of their fleets and reduce their environmental impact; policymakers must ensure these are preserved – empty runs should not be forced upon them.
“The current situation also leaves Irish international hauliers facing a patchwork of administrative requirements relating to the local minimum wage in the country where they operate. But this red tape is without tangible benefits for Irish drivers: Ireland’s minimum wage is the second highest in Europe. We are pleased the European Parliament wants to put an end to this patchwork by proposing a single set of admin rules and by exempting some transport operations from minimum wage paperwork altogether.”
Flynn continued: “While the European Parliament’s position does include attempts to streamline administrative requirements hauliers are facing, the proposed rules leave too much room for interpretation as to who is eligible to these facilitations and are therefore likely to create enforcement issues. FTAI is also disappointed that the European Parliament decided not to reverse the ban on drivers taking their regular weekly rests in the cabin even though the lack of appropriate facilities makes it virtually impossible to comply with the ban. EU Member States should push for flexibilities on this rule, to be applied when drivers park in safe and secure parking areas with reasonable levels of comfort and services. Most importantly they should invest and incentivise private investors to upgrade the network of truck parking areas across Europe. FTAI is continuing to advocate for better facilities for drivers in the UK and abroad.”
Members of the European Parliament will now negotiate with representatives of EU Member States and agree on the set of road haulage rules.
FTA Ireland (FTAI) is a not for profit membership trade association for the freight and logistics industry in Ireland. FTAI covers all aspects of the freight, passenger transport and logistics supply chain, including road, rail, sea, air, port, airport and public service transport interests, whether as operators freight and logistics services, coach and bus operators or as shippers. Further information regarding FTA Ireland is available at www.ftai.ie