New EU rules on posting of drivers enter into force

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The European Union has reached a milestone in the application of the Mobility Package 1. On 2 February, the new rules on the posting of drivers become applicable in the 27 EU member states. IRU has worked intensely with its members and the European Commission (EC) to identify unclear elements and accelerate the preparation process.

Preparing for the application of the new posting of drivers rules has been an intense and complicated process, including in the EC’s posting of drivers dedicated expert group: This group represents both EU Member States and industry stakeholders, including IRU. In the end, the EC was able to release its first set of answers and scenarios, covering a number of typical road transport operations.

The EC’s services and the European Labour Authority have to be commended for their commitment and professionalism. They provided training to the industry’s actors and enforcers, and opened the Road Transport Posting Declarations portal, which is now available for use by operators.

However, more needs to be done on the Commission’s side. Among other things, posting scenarios are yet to be clarified, in particular regarding passenger transport, combined transport and third country operators. The EC also still needs to implement its long-awaited regulation on the classification of infringements. The manual registration of border crossings is another area that needs urgent clarification due to its potential to clog borders. IRU calls for immediate EC action on this topic.

Yet, the weakest link seems to be EU Member States. They have the obligation to transpose and publish the information on the conditions applicable to posting in their countries by tomorrow, including critical information on drivers’ remuneration in the host country.

At the moment however, only a few countries have shared this information, and not always in a user-friendly manner. IRU urges EU Member States to ensure that the rules are transposed shortly and that the information to operators and drivers is accessible, structured, and available in several EU languages.

The next milestone for the Mobility Package 1 is on 21 February. Key provisions will then come into force, like the new EU cabotage rules, which include a cooling off period and the return of the vehicle. IRU hopes that the EC will clarify the rules about market access in due course. It is a concern that several Member States have not yet transposed key provisions into national legislation, such as the interplay between the new cabotage rules and combined transport.

IRU will continue its efforts in advocating the industry’s interests and in providing information to its members. It will also partner with enforcers and trade unions to ensure a harmonised interpretation, application and enforcement of the new rules, in the interest of companies and drivers.