The European Commission decided today to refer Denmark and Finland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to properly apply the "cabotage" rules, as laid down in the Regulation (EC) 1072/2009 on access to the international road haulage market.
The Regulation allows hauliers with a Community licence to perform up to three national carriage operations in a Member State other than their own, following the unloading of an international transport, a practice known as "cabotage". There are no further restrictions under EU law.
Finnish law, however, limits cabotage to ten operations in a three-month period. The Commission considers that this additional restriction is not warranted. Additionally, under the Regulation each cabotage operation may involve several loading and unloading points. However, Finnish law considers that each loading or unloading constitutes a cabotage operation. Under Danish law, a single cabotage operation can involve several loading 'or' unloading points, but not both. In the Commission's view, these further restrictions are also not warranted.
The European Commission sent reasoned opinions to the Danish and Finnish authorities on 24 September 2015 and 29 April 2015, respectively. As Denmark and Finland have failed to bring their legislation in line with EU law, the European Commission has decided to refer both Member States to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The Commission is aware that the Finnish Parliament will shortly vote on a draft Government decree which could adequately address its concerns. If the adoption of this decree is confirmed, the Commission will reconsider the decision adopted today.
Regulation (EC) 1072/2009 of 21 October 2009 guarantees uniform criteria for the access to the road haulage market by EU hauliers from the EU Member States. This is important for the completion of an internal market in road transport and to maintain a level playing field between hauliers.
Cabotage aims to improve the efficiency of road freight transport by reducing empty trips after the unloading of international transport operations.
For more information:
- On infringements in the area of EU mobility and transport.
- On the key decisions of the June infringements package, please refer to the full MEMO/16/2097.
- On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12.
- Information on the infringement procedures.