FRENCH transport minister Frederic Cuvillier and five other EU transport ministers have urged the European Commission to tighten cabotage regulations in road haulage to prevent unfair competition.
The letter to EC transport commissioner Siim Kallas called for a clear framework to strengthen controls, improve existing legislation and prevent regulations that undermine road haulage.
The five EU transport ministers co-signing the letter were from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland and Italy.
Mr Kallas backed down from an original proposal to introduce a cabotage scheme without restrictions across the EU from 2014 which he defined as restricted and against the spirit of European Single Market.
Present rules restrict truckers to a maximum of three domestic transport operations within the 27 EU member states over a seven-day period, immediately following an international operation. These would have been lifted in 2014.
Mr Cuvillier's launch of a major conference spring 2014 will debate unfair competition from low-cost truckers from the Baltic and Eastern European states competing in western EU and Scandinavian countries.
The debate held in Paris will focus on harmonisation of EU regulations of truck driver employment with a focus on rest periods, the duration of time spent behind the wheel, for example, as well as the conditions governing the admission to the occupation of road haulage operator.
Source : HKSG.