Cabotage law violations in Germany. Foreign carriers do not break the law more often, data show.

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Enak Ferlemann, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, has recently presented the BAG’s quarterly results on cabotage controls. It appears that the number of infringements related to cabotage remained at a similar level as compared to the same period last year.

According to the German portal, the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG) imposed 264 fines for cabotage violations in January, February and March 2020 for a total of around 560,000 euros. In comparison, 279 fines were issued in the first quarter of 2019. The value of those reached a total of 510,000 euros. Therefore, the figures challenge the claim that relaxing the laws due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis would increase cabotage violations.

Many transport companies and logistics associations were greatly concerned that CEE competitors would gain an advantage through infringements, which would further increase competitive pressure. As it turns out, this fear was unfounded. 

The results of the intensified BAG inspections lead to similar conclusions. During a control operation organised in April, after checking 19 vehicles from abroad, only one cabotage violation was discovered

Pursuant to the provisions, a maximum of three cabotage operations are permitted within seven days following a fully unloaded cross-border transport in Germany, also known as the “3 in 7” principle.