The Belgian court imposed penalties of several thousand euros on a farmer and the company of Jet Transporten for illegal parking of over 200 lorries of the Hungarian company Waberer’s during the Christmas holiday in 2015. The vehicles parked on the farmer’s meadows. The reason for imposing a fine on him is surprising.
Before Christmas 2015, Waberer’s was looking for a place to park their lorries, which, at that time, were running routes through Belgium. The idea was that drivers were taken home by bus to spend their holidays with their families in their home country. Due to the lack of return loads, the Hungarian operator decided to leave the trucks in Belgium and commissioned the Belgian Jet Transporten to organise parking facilities for them. The Belgian company agreed with a farmer from Opglabbeek on renting his meadows for 17 days.
The farmer prepared a parking area and asked for 3460 euros of rent – informs the Belgian transport portal, transportmedia.be. Jet Transporten, however, sent Waberer’s an invoice of approximately 37 thousand euros. Later, media published pictures of the parking trucks, and the prosecutor’s office started an investigation into possible social dumping. There was a suspicion that the drivers had camped in their trucks.
In the end, the Hungarian company did not have to go to court, as it was proved that its employees spent Christmas with their families. Meanwhile, during the investigation, it was found that part of the farmer’s land, on which the trucks were parked, was located in an area with environmental restrictions. This means that the farmer or the Belgian company should have applied for a special permit. Which neither of them did.
Because of this, the court in Limburg imposed fines of 3 thousand euros on the farmer and Jet Transporten for violating environmental laws. Also, the court took half of the rental profits from Jet Transporten.
Why did Waberer’s leave the trucks in the meadows for Christmas?
According to the information provided by the editorial office of Trans.INFO, the Hungarian company left the lorries in the meadows because they had no returning loads. Many of the Waberer’s vehicles had been taking cargo to customers in Western Europe before Christmas and would not have returned to Hungary empty. This was the reason why the carrier decided to collect the lorries in Belgium during the Christmas break.
Waberer’s made the same decision in 2017. At that time, the Hungarian company rented two sites – one in the Belgian municipality of Opglabbeek (also from JET Transporten) and the other in the Dutch Eersel area – under a contract with KLG Europe.
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