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Interbus Agreement: the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus

The technical conditions applying to buses and coaches providing international occasional services between contracting parties must be harmonised to a high degree in order to improve road safety and the way international transport services are organised and developed in Europe.


Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus (Interbus Agreement).


The Interbus Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus entered into force in the European Community on 1 January 2003.

The Agreement applies to the international carriage of passengers, of any nationality, and to unladen journeys of the buses and coaches concerned with these services on the territory of the European Union (EU), and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Romania and Turkey.

The Interbus Agreement will govern traffic not only between the Community and the non-EC countries concerned but also between the non-EC countries themselves, thus establishing a degree of fiscal, social and technical harmonisation in addition to market access rules. The Agreement also provides for accession, subsequent to its entry into force, by any member of the European Conference of Ministers of Transport, and by the Republic of San Marino, the Principality of Monaco and the Principality of Andorra.
The Interbus Agreement replaces the bilateral agreements concluded between the contracting parties.

The main objective is to achieve the same degree of liberalisation as that attained under the Agreement on the international carriage of passengers by road by means of occasional coach and bus services (ASOR), signed in Dublin in May 1982.

The Interbus Agreement therefore incorporates most of the liberalisation measures of the ASOR Agreement while adding social, fiscal and technical measures based on the principle of non-discrimination between the various contracting parties.

The principle of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality or the place of establishment of the transport operator, and of the origin or destination of the bus or coach should be considered to be a basic condition applying to the provision of international transport services.

The Agreement provides for uniform models for transport documents such as the control document for liberalised occasional services and also the authorisation and the application form for non-liberalised services in order to facilitate and simplify inspection procedures.

Buses and coaches are exempted from all vehicle taxes and charges levied on the circulation or possession of vehicles as well as from all special taxes or charges levied on transport operations in the territory of the other contracting parties. However, buses and coaches are not exempted from payment of taxes and charges on motor fuel, value added tax on transport services, road tolls and user charges levied on the use of infrastructure.

A Joint Committee is established, responsible for the management and proper application of the Agreement. In particular, the Committee is responsible for:

  • drawing up, on the basis of the information provided by the contracting parties, a list of the authorities responsible for certain tasks provided for under the Agreement,
  • amending or adapting the control documents and other models of documents established in the Annexes to the Agreement,
  • amending or adapting the Annexes concerning the technical standards applicable to buses and coaches,
  • drawing up a list, on the basis of information provided by the contracting parties, of all customs duties, taxes and charges,
  • amending or adapting the requirements concerning the social provisions in order to incorporate future measures taken within the European Community,
  • resolving any dispute over the implementation and interpretation of the Agreement,
  • recommending further steps towards the liberalisation of those occasional services still subject to authorisation.

The Agreement is concluded for a period of five years, dating from its entry into force. The duration is automatically extended for successive periods of five years among those contracting parties who do not express their wish not to do so.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Interbus Agreement01.01.2003-OJ L 321 of 26.11.2002


Council Regulation (EEC) No 56/83 of 16 December 1982 concerning the implementation of the Agreement on the international carriage of passengers by road by means of occasional coach and bus services (ASOR) [Official Journal L 10 of 13.01.1983].

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 of 20 December 1985 on recording equipment in road transport [Official Journal L 370 of 31.12.1985].

Council Directive 92/6/EEC of 10 February 1992 on the installation and use of speed limitation devices for certain categories of motor vehicles in the Community [Official Journal L 57 of 02.03.1992].

Council Directive 96/26/EC of 29 April 1996 on admission to the occupation of road haulage operator and road passenger transport operator and mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications intended to facilitate for those operators the right to freedom of establishment in national and international transport operations [Official Journal L 124 of 23.05.1996].

Council Directive 96/96/EC of 20 December 1996 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers [Official Journal L 46 of 17.02.1997].

Council Directive 96/53/EC of 25 July 1996 laying down for certain road vehicles circulating within the Community the maximum authorized dimensions in national and international traffic and the maximum authorized weights in international traffic [Official Journal L 235 of 17.09.1996].

2002/917/EC: Council Decision of 3 October 2002 on the conclusion of the Interbus Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus [Official Journal L 321 of 26.11.2002].

Last updated: 16.05.2007
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