Spain approves HGV driver loading ban and compensation for RDC delays

The Spanish Government yesterday approved measures to improve the sustainability of the road freight transport sector, as well as boost the working conditions of drivers. The new legislation includes and a loading/unloading ban for HGV drivers, as well as compensation for hauliers who have to wait too long at RDCs.

Spain approves HGV driver loading ban and compensation for RDC delays
Photo credits @ Elevate on Unsplash

By approving the regulations, the Spanish government provided the legal background for the agreement between the hauliers and the ministry, which was reached in the middle of December after a series of stormy protests by the transportation sector.

The new legislation includes a total of 20 measures. The essential objective of the law is to “rebalance the asymmetries currently existing between the actors in the road freight transport sector, improve their position and competitiveness and guarantee adequate working conditions and social protection for drivers,” explained the Ministry.

Among others, the new measures include the adaptation of the European Directive on posted workers included in the Mobility Package.

However, the most controversial regulation that was approved yesterday is the driver ban on loading and unloading. According to the Spanish haulier association Fenadismer, “cargo companies” had been strongly lobbying the government to loosen the legislation connected to the agreement – even until the last day before the measures were voted for.

But they weren’t successful; the loading ban for GV drivers will enter into force in September.

The new legislation includes the following measures:

  • the general prohibition of the driver’s loading and unloading in vehicles over 7.5 tons;
  • the haulier has to be paid compensation by the shipper after waiting for an hour to get loaded or unloaded (until now, hauliers had to be compensated after waiting for 2 hours)
  • a provision related to the calculation of compensation to the carrier for damage caused that implies the stoppage of the vehicle;
  • the obligatory revision of the price of the transport in the event of the changes in the fuel price from the moment of contracting until the effective performance of the transport, based on the prices published on the ministry’s website;
  • the adaption of the sanctioning power linked to compliance with the mobility package in terms of driving and rest times and „return home of the vehicle” when doing international transport;
  • the extension of the maximum height allowed to 4.5 meters for certain highly valued types of transport with special needs.
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