Mobility Package rejected by the European Parliament
The future of the road haulage industry has also been high on the political agenda in the EU. Throughout 2018, work has been done on a comprehensive review of all the rules for road hauliers, including the rules on access to the transport industry and haulage licenses, driving and resting time, and cabotage and the highly controversial problem regarding the application of rules on the posting of workers in relation to drivers in the highly mobile transport sector.
After lengthy negotiations, on 4 December 2018, the Council could finally recommend the first part of the Mobility Package, which mainly aimed at improving the social conditions of drivers, for a vote in the European Parliament.
Included in the first part of the mobility package was, among other things, proposals for a licensing scheme for commercial vehicles similar to the Danish “road haulage light” and the introduction of some special posting rules, which were particularly adapted to the mobile nature of the drivers' work. Under these rules, all types of cabotage and the road part of a combined transport and non-bilateral international transport, where neither the place of departure nor the destination is the country where the driver is employed, will be considered posting.
However, the negotiations on the mobility package seem to continue. Overall, the proposal was rejected by the European Parliament's Committee on Transport, except for the proposal to modify the cabotage rules so that in future there will be a five-day waiting period after the end of cabotage in one country where one cannot return and carry out cabotage in the same country. Also, there was an agreement to introduce a more precise definition of the concept of combined transport, which will be enforced uniformly across member states.
The prospects for the mobility package are still uncertain. By May, elections for the European Parliament will be held, and if the new rules are not enacted by then, the Commission will have to start over with a new proposal. So far, Parliament's Committee on Transport has given itself a week to present a new plan for the further consideration of the Mobility Package.
We expect that the political focus on the conditions in the road haulage sector will continue into 2019. NJORD Law Firm will continuously monitor the development and provide updates on significant new initiatives in the area.