Norway tightens cabotage and road transport enforcement

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In Norway, from March 1, law enforcement officers that carry out roadside vehicle inspections are now allowed to enforce cabotage regulations. Before then it was only the duty of the Police force, and they often didn’t follow up on this and dropped the cases. Under the new regulation the inspectors charge a fee of 60.000 NOK (roughly €6,000) which must be paid on site. Failing to pay means wheel-lock until paid.

Ove the past week many foreign truck get fined and wheel-locked. They also fine quite heavily if papers are missing, up to NOK 6.000 per document missing.

If stopped without having the right papers or breaking the cabotage rules, in addition to the fee, the truck must leave the goods at the site and leave Norway. This means that some other legal transport company will have to take over the carriage of the goods.

The other thing to be reminded of is the automatic road toll agreement which is mandatory for all vehicles above 3,500 kg total weight in Norway. The fee is NOK 8,000 for first offence then NOK 16,000 if stopped again.

Also, having the international transport papers to hand is important, which two Swedish hauliers discovered when they were stopped for checks. There it was discovered that they did not have permission to operate transport in Norway, as they only had national Swedish licences. The reward to the Norwegian treasury for this was NOK 60,000 from each of the carriers.

Statement from the Norwegian Transport Department, reads:

Up until now, the Norwegian Road Administration has enforced violations of specific rules on, among other things, freight transport cabotage, by reporting the matter to the police.

“After 1 March, we can impose infringement fees on the spot, which makes our control work more effective,” stated Stine Yttervoll Lepsøy from the Norwegian Road Administration.

Fee for not having a driver’s license and transport licence

The Ministry of Transport is introducing an infringement fee for not carrying a driver’s license and license with you during transport. In those cases where the transport company does not have a license document or driver’s certificate, we can charge a fee of NOK 60,000.

It shouldn’t pay to break the rules

Both the Government and the Storting (the supreme legislature of Norway) want the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the police to issue a fee to a greater extent when the commercial transport regulations are broken. This is to help more people follow the rules.

“Although it is now possible for us and the police to use more fees, it does not replace reporting, investigation and possible fines for the most serious violations. The most serious cases or repeated violations must still be reported,” added Stine

New fee rates for nuisance

The fee rates for overloading vehicles will change from 1 March. This applies to axle, bogie, triple bogie load and total weight. The new fee rates can be found at www.vegvesen.no

New framework for passenger transport cabotage

From 1 January 2024, foreign bus companies can only carry out passenger transport on Norwegian roads for periods of a maximum of 20 consecutive days, and a maximum of 30 days in total per calendar year.

“We calculate the start of the cabotage period from the day the carrier starts the first cabotage journey in Norway. The period ends when the bus used is out of the country. The framework that has now been set is in line with the Government’s action plan against social dumping in the transport sector and helps to ensure a level playing field and prevent social dumping,” concluded Stine.

Fee for violations of the commercial transport regulations

From 1 March 2024, an infringement fee will be charged for not having a driver’s license and license document with you during transport. In those cases where the transport company does not have a license document or driver’s certificate, an infringement fee of NOK 60,000 can be issued. You can find the infringement fees in the regulations at lovdata.no.

These breaches of the rules on freight transport cabotage attract a fee:

Incoming international transport cannot be documented.

Cabotage has been carried out more than seven days after the end of the last international trip.

More than three cabotage trips have been carried out with the basis of the community permit after the cross-border transport.

More than one transit cabotage has been run.

Transit cabotage has been carried out more than three days after arrival in Norway.

The waybill is incomplete or has incomplete documentation.

The waybill/documentation for national transport is not included in the vehicle.

Cabotage is started before the unloading of international transport.

 

Some examples from last week:

  • Two foreign freight trucks that ran cabotage transport were pulled aside for an extended check. During the inspection, it was discovered that the transport documents had not been completed. Both transporters were banned from driving until the deficiencies in the documentation are rectified. Following the new regulations regarding cabotage transport which were believed to be in force on 1 March 2024, in addition to a ban on use, fees were issued for the above-mentioned insufficiency. One company received NOK 18,000 and the other NOK 12,000 in fees. In addition to the fee for the insufficiency in the transport documentation, the one truck received a road toll tag fee of NOK 8,000 for missing having a subscription agreement. Since none of the drivers could pay their fee on the spot, wheel locks were used on the tractor-units until the fees are paid.
  • Four fees for deficiencies with cabotage control. A total of NOK 24,000.
  • A company that carried out temporary cabotage received 12,000 in fees due to missing information in the waybill, as well as a technical deficiency due to damage to the cabinet on the trailer.
  • A foreign carrier received NOK 60,000 in infringement fees for operating domestic transport over too long a period in Norway.
  • A truck was fined NOK 25,000 for breaking the cabotage rules. The transport was loaded with fish from Riga to Måløy and the driver had brought more fish from Oslo to Måløy on the same trip. This is not allowed as the cabotage rules state that all international goods must be unloaded before loading cabotage tours (national tours in Norway). The wagon train was taken to the truck parking lot at Nordfjordeid and a wheel lock was fitted there pending payment of the fee. The load must be split up and transported to Måløy in two trips, on another carrier or one trip using a Norwegian carrier. Once the fee has been paid, the trailer can only be used to drive empty or with international cargo out of Norway.
  • A truck that transported goods under the regulations for temporary cabotage received NOK 12,000 in fees for not completing the shipping paper properly.
  • One transport on a cabotage trip in Norway was banned for lack of documentation on national transport
  • A truck from Lithuania with a driver from Belarus was stopped at a checkpoint, the transport company received NOK 6,000 in fees as they had not brought the permit document. When there is a driver from a third country, there is also a requirement for a driving certificate (in addition to the drivers licence, my comment), which the driver does not possess. The transport company has received a fee of NOK 60,000 because they do not have this document. Drivers cannot drive a truck in Norway until they have obtained this document and the transport company must pay a total of NOK 66,000 before the truck can leave the checkpoint. A wheel-lock was placed on the truck.

Reporting by Torbjorn Eriksen, Anlegg&Transport; ITOY Norway