Austrian lawyer Peter Hilpold, who specialises in EU law, believes the night-time ban on foreign trucks in Tyrol is illegal.
The ban has been in effect on the Inn Valley Autobahn since 2016 and was extended on January 1st of this year. The official aim of the regulation is to improve air quality and thus protect people and the environment.
Last month, the transport ministers of the German and Italian Governments wrote to the EU Commission regarding Austria’s “unacceptable” night-time ban on HGVs using the A12 motorway in Tirol.
In the letter, Paola De Micheli and Adreas Scheuer said the restrictions, which apply to all international transport with the exception of those from specific areas of Austria, are “inappropriate and unacceptable”.
The two ministers claim the ban creates obstacles to the free circulation of goods and harms free competition, resulting in “negative consequences for companies of the road transport sector and in general for the international economy, especially in the context of the economic-health emergency of the pandemic.”
According to Hilpold, the two ministers are correct in their belief that the ban is illegal. Andreas Scheuer welcomed the report, tweeting that “Tyrol hinders the free movement of goods in Europe. Freight forwarders and residents are the ones who suffer. ”
Tirol behindert den freien Warenverkehr in Europa 🇪🇺. Spediteure und Anwohner sind die Leidtragenden. Ich begrüße daher ausdrücklich das heute vorgestellte Gutachten. Es belegt die #EU-Rechtswidrigkeit und Unverhältnismäßigkeit der Tiroler Maßnahmen. (1/2)
— Andreas Scheuer (@AndiScheuer) February 11, 2021
Bavaria’s Transport Minister, Kerstin Schreyer, has also asked the EU Commission to initiate infringement proceedings against Austria. The transport policy spokesman for the CSU European group, Markus Ferber, described the approach as “discriminatory and cannot be justified for environmental reasons for a long time.”