Reform of EU regulations on road haul-age: What lasts long may still be good

For years now, the EU regulations on road haulage have been undergoing reforms, mainly concerning cabotage and social regulations. After long discussions with various proposals that were not implemented, the regulation 2020/1055 was adopted on 15.7.2020 to amend the regulations (EC) No. 1071/2009, 1072/2009 1024/2012 in order to adapt them to the development in the road transport sector. First of all, it should be noted that this regulation is only valid from 21.2.2022, in some cases even later, in order to allow time for adaptation. According to this regulation, international transport with vehicles or vehicle combinations with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 2.5 t will no longer be exempted, but will be subject to the requirement of an authorization, but with adapted conditions. Thus, for the first of these vehicles a capital or reserves of € 1,800.00 if only such vehicles are used, otherwise € 900.00 is required for each (further) of these vehicles. Each member state can decide for itself whether this should also apply to national transport. It remains to be seen how the German legislator will decide.

Furthermore, the requirements for branch offices will be increased. Among other things, companies are required to organize the use of their vehicle fleet in such a way that vehicles used for cross-border transport must return to a permanent establishment in the country of establishment no later than eight weeks after leaving the country of establishment, in order to synchronize with the obligations of entrepreneurs under the social regulations (see Regulation (EC) No 561/2006).

The requirements for reliability are also being tightened. For example, a traffic manager who has been deprived of his reliability can be rehabilitated at the earliest one year after his deprivation.

Cabotage transport operations are restricted in that, within a period of four days of the end of a cabotage transport operation in a Member State, operators may not carry out any further such operation in the same vehicle in that Member State. Consequently, the requirements will be adapted to the evidence to be carried, which can also be submitted in electronic form.

A definition of the term "cabotage transport" was not provided, although the European Court of Justice has found that there is no such definition. The disputes about when only one cabotage transport operation is carried out by different consignors or consignees will remain with us after this reform.

Furthermore, the member states are to enact provisions according to which sanctions can be imposed on shippers, freight forwarders, contractors and sub-contractors for violations of regulations for international and cabotage transport if they knew or should have known that these regulations would be violated in the execution of their orders.

What these innovations ultimately mean for us in Germany depends to a large extent on the adjustments made by German lawmakers within the scope of their design options.


Your contact person:

Jürgen Knorre
Specialist lawyer for transport and forwarding law