More flexible rules on using hired lorries in the EU

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EU states will no longer be allowed to restrict the use of a vehicle hired by a haulage company established in another member state in the future, announced the EU Council last week. The provisional agreement provides for increased flexibility when hiring lorries from abroad and makes transport operations more efficient, the EU says.

More flexible rules on using hired lorries in the EU

Last week, negotiators from the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on revised rules for the use of hired vehicles for goods transport.

Currently, the directive guarantees access for haulage companies to hired vehicles only when they are registered in the member state where the company has its seat.

Under the new agreement, member states will not be allowed to restrict the use on their territory of a vehicle hired by a haulage company established in another member state, provided that the relevant rules in the member state of the establishment are followed.

Proportion of hired lorries in a fleet still can be restricted

However, as the level of road transport tax varies considerably within the EU, member states will still be able to restrict, within certain limits, the use of vehicles hired in another member state by their own companies, according to the provisional agreement.

These restrictions mainly concern the proportion of hired vehicles registered in another member state in the fleet of a haulage company, as well as the length of the lease period for a vehicle hired from abroad, the announcement reads.

The minimum guaranteed lease period for an individual vehicle registered in another member state is set at 2 months.

There will be a maximum backstop possibility of 30 days, if required by national vehicle registration rules.

Also, to improve enforcement competent authorities will have to record the registration numbers of vehicles hired from another member state in their national electronic registers of road transport undertakings.

Time of application of the new measure is not yet known

The provisional agreement reached last week is subject to approval by the Council. It will now be submitted to the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) for endorsement.

Then, EU countries will have to incorporate the new provisions into their legislation 14 months after the entry into force of the directive.

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