COVID-19; Response measures and the Road Transport sector

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ROAD HAULAGE

COVID-19: IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ROAD HAULAGE OPERATORS

Updates are provided on a number of issues concerning COVID-19 response measures and the road transport sector.

Access to Sanitary Facilities and Motorway Services

In recognition of the need to protect the health of supply chain workers the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), in collaboration with the Health Service Executive and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, has published a communication available here stressing the importance of providing access to toilet and handwashing facilities for transport workers. The communication has been circulated to Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Irish Petrol Retailers Association and other key retail stakeholders to ensure a broad distribution of this important message.

DTTAS publishes a summary of motorway service area facilities available here outlining the accessibility of food, toilet and washing amenities along the national motorway network, as well as operating hours. This information will continue to be updated.

Guidelines on Cleaning HGV Cabs

DTTAS has published guidance on the cleaning of HGV Cabs during the COVID-19 outbreak.  This information is available here.

Communication on Essential Workers at every level in the Supply Chain

A communication regarding the importance of all workers in the supply chain is published by DTTAS on www.gov.ie under Guidance for Supply Chain Workers.  A direct link is available here. The document highlights the fact that every element of the supply chain is a vital link in ensuring a continuous flow of essential goods during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that where practical, all goods should continue to be distributed to the greatest extent possible.

International Freight Movements

Information on European border crossing times is publicly available here. This information is based on real-time and predictive data.

Documentation required abroad

The Department continues to recommend that HGV drivers travelling abroad as part of their work to other EU Member States should continue to carry with them a completed EU Certificate for International Transport Workers, to be completed by the employer (available at this link Annex 3 of the Green Lanes Communication (Template of Certificate for International Transport Workers) as some EU Member States may require this.

Transporting goods to/from/through France

Following recent announcements in France, the Department is now recommending that HGV drivers travelling to France should carry the following documentation:

Justificatif de déplacement professionnel, to be completed by the employer

Attestation de déplacement international, to be completed by the driver

EU Certificate for International Transport Workers, as described in the above   section

The web link to the forms that you may be asked to produce in France is available here https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-derogatoire-et-justificatif-de-deplacement-professionnel.  While the forms are translated into English on the website, we would recommend that you complete the French versions of both documents. The French versions of both documents are also attached as PDFs to this email.  

To limit delays at the Swiss border it is recommended that customs clearance is conducted in advance online using the Online Customs Declaration available here.

EU Drivers’ Hours Rules

DTTAS and the Road Safety Authority have already secured a temporary relaxation of EU driving and resting time rules due to COVID-19, as outlined here. This derogation is valid until 16 April 2020. Authorisation is being sought from the EU for a prolonged temporary derogation beyond this date.  Further details will be made available soon.

EU Member States – Updates

A breakdown of measures adopted by EU Member States, including Ireland, in the area of transport is shown in the EU’s Coronavirus Transport Platform available here.

Certificates and Licences

As mentioned in our last update, the Road Safety Authority has provided for the extension of the validity of Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) cards which are due to expire, for a maximum of six months up to 26 September 2020, as outlined here.

A detailed examination is currently being conducted by DTTAS, in consultation with the RSA, in relation to a range of issues arising from the necessary suspension of the National Driver Licensing and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing services.  A number of legislative, administrative and technical measures are required to ensure that people are not disadvantaged or penalised as a direct result of the emergency response and further information will be made available in due course.

Government Financial Supports

A major new package of Government financial supports has been put in place to support individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.  Please see the following links for further details:

  1. a)Information for employees and the self-employed
  2. b)Information for employers
  3. c)COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
  4. d)Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences
  5. e)Social Welfare COVID-19 Contacts
  6. f)Latest updates on COVID-19 from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

The quickest and easiest way to apply for any of these resources is at www.mywelfare.ie

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has introduced a range of supports  summarised here to help businesses continue to trade during the current crisis, which will also be of relevance to  those businesses in the transport and logistics sectors in maintaining the smooth running of critical supply chains, for example:

On 8 April 2020, Minister Humphreys announced a major expansion of business supports for SMEs – you can read more here. This includes the following:

  • Expansion of two SBCI Loan Schemes by €450m to provide an extra €250m for working capital and €200m for longer-term loans, bringing the total allocation to support liquidity in companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis to €650m
  • €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund for firms in the manufacturing and international services sectors
  • Extension of supports for online trading to €7.6m
  • Expansion of Microfinance Ireland funding by €13m to €20m for COVID-19 loans with interest rates dropped from 7.8% to 4.5% – this reduced rate will be available to all micro-enterprises from retail and tourism, to software and transport, with less than 10 employees, where the application is made through the LEOs or Local Development Committees.
  • Free mentoring, free online training for all businesses

Additionally, schemes such as the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and other enterprise supports such as Enterprise Ireland’s Rescue & Restructuring Scheme are available to further support eligible businesses during these difficult times.