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The European Commission has launched a survey to map the road transport industry’s view on the impacts of the obligation of regular return of the vehicle to the Member State of establishment on hauliers, the transportation market, and the climate and environment.

To combat the phenomenon of ‘letterbox companies’, Mobility Package aim to tighten the link between the transport operator’s place of establishment and its activities. To ensure that the link is genuine, trucks in international transport will have to return to the company’s operational centre at least once every eight weeks. This eight-week period is designed to allow drivers to return home, together with the vehicle, at the end of their second four-weekly work cycle.

Now, the European Commission (EC) has named Ricardo Nederland to carry out a survey and prepare a study from its results regarding the effects of this above-mentioned regulation. The survey is gathering data on the current practices of road transport operators and the road haulage market situation as well as exploring the potential ways the market will respond to the new obligation. The objective of the study is to recognise and estimate the impacts of the regulation on the climate and environment, on congestion and the economic and internal market. Also, it will consider the social impacts on drivers as well as business operations.

To have a chance to alter this regulation, it is crucial for businesses to fill in this form to provide the EC as much relevant information as possible.

Deadline: 25 September 2020.

The survey can be filled out in 20 different languages: find the language choosing bar on the left side of the site.

Responders can only take the survey once (meaning: one response per computer). The progress made in filling out the survey can be saved and filling in can be completed at a later time – if responders open the link to the survey on the same computer and the same browser, they will be directed to the same page of the questionnaire where they left, with their previous responses saved.

Mandatory return of trucks will result in more than 780 million extra kilometres per year

Stakeholders from industry and government were calling for another review of the proposals in May, admonishing that policymakers may eventually take decisions without having looked at the implications for the Single Market and CO2 emissions. The transportation industry claimed that the legislative train proceeded without an appropriate economic, social and environmental impact assessment, which stood in clear opposition to the EU’s commitment to evidence-based policymaking. 

Estimations showed that only 7 peripheral EU Member States – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – will alone emit additional 3.2 million tons of CO2 per year. All of 570,000 trucks will be returning home every 8 weeks navigating 780 million suboptimal or empty kilometres annually. As a result, the European transport system and businesses will face inefficiencies, higher fuel consumption and lack of transport capacity, while EU citizens will encounter more pollution and congestion.

Also, at the beginning of July, 9 European countries asked the European Commission in a joint letter to reconsider the introduction of the Mobility Package. One of their main concerns was the mandatory return of trucks. Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania stressed that the provisions of the Mobility Package are in conflict with the European Green Deal

Photo: Pixabay

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