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EU reaches provisional deal on new rules for truck drivers

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EU reaches provisional deal on new rules for truck drivers

Truck driver

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Parliament's transport committee endorsed Monday a provisional agreement with ministers to improve driver working conditions, posting of drivers and better enforcement against illegal practices.

The revised rules for posting of drivers, drivers' rest times and better enforcement of cabotage rules (i.e. transport of goods carried out by non-resident hauliers on a temporary basis in a host member state) aim to put an end to distortion of competition in the road transport sector and provide better rest conditions for drivers.

Better working conditions for drivers

  • The new rules will help to ensure better rest conditions for drivers and allow them to spend more time at home.
  • Companies will have to organise their timetables so that drivers in international freight transport are able to return home at regular intervals (every three or four weeks depending on the work schedule).
  • The mandatory rest period at the end of the week, known as regular weekly rest, cannot be taken in the truck cab. If this rest period is taken away from home, the company must pay for accommodation costs.

Fairer competition and fighting illegal practices

  • Vehicle tachographs will be used to register border-crossings in order to tackle fraud.
  • Existing limits to cabotage remain the same (three operations within seven days).
  • To prevent systematic cabotage, there will be a cooling-off period of four days before more cabotage operations can be carried out within same country with the same vehicle.
  • To fight the use of letterbox companies, road haulage businesses would need to have substantial activities in the member state in which they are registered. The new rules will also require trucks to return to the company's operational centre every eight weeks.
  • Given that vans are increasingly used to provide international transport services, using light commercial vehicles of over 2.5 tonnes will also be subject to EU norms for transport operators, including equipping the vans with a tachograph.

Clear rules on posting of drivers

  • The new rules on posting of drivers will give a clear legal framework to prevent differing national approaches and ensure fair remuneration for drivers.
  • Posting rules will apply to cabotage and international transport operations, excluding transit, bilateral operations and bilateral operations with one extra loading or unloading per direction (can be added up: e.g. none on the way out and two on the return leg).

Confirming its decision from January, the Transport and Tourism Committee supported in second reading all three social and market access files.

Further information, European Parliament

Regulation relating to access to the profession and to the market - full text

Regulation relating to driving times and rest periods and tachographs - full text

Directive relating to enforcement and posting drivers in the road transport sect - full text

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