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European Commission - Press release

Road transport: Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU on the system of permits for the use of the roads by certain trucks

Brussels, 17 November 2016

Road transport: Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU on the system of permits for the use of the roads by certain trucks

The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU for the incorrect implementation of Council Directive 96/53/EC on maximum weights and dimensions of certain road vehicles. In particular, Poland restricts the freedom to use its road network to certain trucks even if they comply with EU standards.

Under the Polish legislation, trucks with a weight per axle exceeding eight tonnes or 10 tonnes must obtain a special permit from the responsible road managers for using secondary roads. This is the case even if they are loaded in compliance with EU legislation and should, therefore, be allowed to use these roads without applying for additional permits. Many trucks engaged in long distance transport are in this situation.

In Poland, roads are managed by various administrations (communes, counties, regions and central government), and multiple permits may, therefore, be needed for a single journey. In addition, the procedure to obtain a permit is time-consuming. As a result, this creates a significant burden for hauliers and constitutes an obstacle to the correct functioning of the internal market for transport.

The European Commission sent a reasoned opinion to the Polish authorities in February 2016. As Poland has failed to bring its legislation into line with EU law, the European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU.

 

Background

Council Directive 96/53/EC established common standard weights and dimensions for certain category of road vehicles, such as trucks. Different standards in each Member State could otherwise constitute an obstacle to cross-border traffic and would have adverse effects on fair competition.

On the vast majority of its roads, Poland restricts the axle weight limit to 10 tonnes or 8 tonnes which is below the 11.5 tonnes standard established by the Directive. Many major cities, industrial and economic centres, logistics platforms and the Gdynia container port in Poland can only be reached by roads with a low axle weight limit. This has a detrimental effect on the efficiency of road transport in Poland.

 

More information:

- On infringements in the area of EU mobility and transport.

- On the key decisions of the November infringements package, please refer to the fullMEMO/16/3644.

- On the general infringements procedure, see MEMO/12/12(an info graph).

- On the EU infringements procedure.

IP/16/3649

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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