Girteka Logistics statement on Norwegian Truck Owners Association report
Yesterday, we published information on a article by the Norwegian Truck Owners Association, which stated Girteka Logistics had been reported for 20 cases of illegal cabotage. Trans.INFO has now received a statement from Girteka Logistics regarding the situation.
The statement can be read in full below:
Girteka Logistics focuses on international transportation across our operational network. This fully applies to our business in Scandinavia, within which we provide international long-haul carriages to and from Norway. Concentrating on imports and exports, cabotage trips are carried only out on a case by case basis.
In Norway, we often observe a long distance from unloading to loading points, resulting in empty driving between imports and exports. In order to reduce empty kilometres and optimize the truck usage, we do complete cabotage trips. This allows us to contribute to the significant goal of decreasing the number of vehicles on the road, improving road safety and cut down CO2 emissions.
The practical aspects of the cabotage trips are challenging, as they cannot be, and are not, operated based on long-term agreements, but are arranged on the spot. We lack clarity on how operations should be documented.
We have been searching for clear answers since 2018 with the help of Norwegian law firms, NFL, Statens Vegvesen and other institutions. In August 2018 we asked the Norwegian Ministry of Transport to provide some clarifications but we have never received an answer. We saw through 2019 that our interpretation and the interpretation of SVV officials differ in some areas, and we addressed the questions to SVV directly. After receiving answers we adopt changes to the documentation immediately. Since the SVV response was contradictory on different points (we also see that different inspectors are interpreting rules differently at different checkpoints), we asked SVV for clarification in June 2020, but we have not yet received any response. We have also sought answers through our group company Thermomax Trondheim AS, on what it takes for international transport to be documented for the purposes of cabotage regulations, but this remains unanswered to this date.
We have 13 cases opened in our system from SVV in 2020 and 4 registered cases in 2021. Out of all these cases from 2020-2021, only one resulted in a police charge with a penalty, which we have accepted and paid. We believe that cases relating to a different interpretation of requirements for documentation should not be the grounds for police charges or penalties in the light of different practices at checkpoints and no clarity on the rules from the competent Norwegian authorities. We strongly support the initiatives to make documentation regulations simpler and clearer, including digitalization of the documentation.
For many years our intention was (and will be in the future) to be fair, to meet all requirements and demands in the area where we operate, no matter which country it is. We are open to all suggestions that could help us to improve our operations and make us better. Therefore we are open to third party audits, to get extra input for possible improvements.
Photo credit: Girteka Logistics