Brussels, 23 May 2007
Commercial road transport: The European Commission wants to ensure fair competition and an efficient and uniform system of checks
The European Commission today adopted three proposals aimed at modernising the rules governing admission to the occupation of road transport operator and access to the road transport market. The proposals provide for compulsory training for transport managers, an enforceable definition of cabotage which can be carried out within a Member State, and mechanisms for imposing sanctions across the national borders. The proposed regulations will reduce distortions of competition and improve transport operators' compliance with the provisions of social legislation and road safety rules. According to the impact assessment, the administrative costs borne by companies and the authorities could be reduced by as much as €190 million per annum.
According to Jacques Barrot, the Commission Vice-President in charge of transport, "to enable the internal market to operate properly, our rules need to be clear, they must be uniform and they must be applied by all transport operators in all Member States". He went on to say that "these proposals will help the road transport industry to improve its efficiency and modernise its image. High-quality road transport services and well-trained professionals will have a favourable impact on their own safety and that of other road users, improve social wellbeing and economic performance, and also contribute to a reduction in fuel consumption and Co2 emissions for the good of society as a whole".
The legislative package adopted today comprises three proposals for regulations, aimed at modernising, simplifying and streamlining the rules governing admission to the occupation and access to the market in the road haulage and passenger transport sector, and a report on the application of the Working Time Directive to self-employed drivers. This package, which will now be examined by the European Parliament and the Council, proposes seven main changes to harmonise the application of the rules, improve the effectiveness of checks and ensure fair competition:
The report adopted at the same time as the three proposals for regulations concerns the application of the Working Time Directive to self-employed drivers. It calls upon the Member States to apply the directive forcefully to bogus self-employed drivers. It draws attention to the drawbacks of an excessively wide extension of the directive to genuine self-employed drivers and confirms the need to amend the directive.
The Commission also adopted a report on the implementation of the directive on the roadworthiness testing of commercial vehicles. According to the report, despite great efforts by some Member States, there is still a lack of uniformity with regard to checks within the EU. The Commission will refer the matter to the appropriate committee to examine (in conjunction with the Member States) how the situation can be improved.
The EU has 850 000 road transport operators. It is estimated that road haulage will increase by 55% between 2000 and 2020 and by twice that figure for international transport.
For more information, please consult the following website:
 The first replaces Directive 96/26/EC on admission to the occupation of road transport operator. The second merges and amends Regulations 881/92 and 3118/93 laying down the conditions governing access to the Community road haulage market. The third merges and amends Regulations 684/92 and 12/98 laying down the conditions governing access to the Community coach and bus transport market.
 Directive 2002/15/EC on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities.
 "False" or bogus self-employed drivers are ones that are declared as being self-employed for social security purposes, but in actual fact work under the authority of a transport operator.
 Directive 2000/30/EC on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Community.