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Brussels, 21 March 2007

Road transport – rules for admission to the occupation: Commission sends reasoned opinion to Greece

The European Commission today sent a reasoned opinion to Greece for its failure to comply with European rules on admission to the occupation of road haulage operator and passenger transport operator. This is the last step before possible referral to the Court of Justice. With the rapid growth of road transport, these rules are essential to the proper functioning of the internal market and the quality of professional transport as regards efficiency, road safety and compliance with social legislation.

According to the Commission, the examinations which candidates for admission to the occupation of road haulage operator have to take in Greece do not comply with the conditions set by Community legislation for ensuring a minimum level of professional qualification.

In accordance with the European legislation,[1] only candidates able to demonstrate in a demanding examination their knowledge of a number of subjects indispensable to the proper management of a firm in the industry are eligible for the certificate of professional competence in road haulage. This certificate allows firms which also meet the good-repute and financial standing requirements to obtain a licence giving them access to the Community market.[2]

In 2006 the Commission conducted a consultation of the road transport industry with a view to modernising and simplifying the rules while ensuring stricter enforcement and improving the level of qualification in the sector.[3] Legislative proposals following on from this consultation are expected before the end of the first half of 2007.

[1] Council Directive 96/26/EC of 29 April 1996, as amended by Directive 98/76/EC, establishing the minimum conditions for admission to the occupation of road haulage operator and the mutual recognition of the documents required by these conditions.

[2] Under Council Regulation (EEC) No 881/92 of 26 March 1992 on access to the market in the carriage of goods by road within the Community and Regulation (EEC) No 684/92 of 16 March 1992 on common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus.

[3] See IP/06/1521.

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