New rules on hired lorries for goods transport. The Council and the Parliament reach an agreement

Following the May 2017 Commission’s proposal, on 26 October 2021 the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement for the revision of Directive 2006/1/EC on the use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road.

Introduced in 2006, the Directive provides for a minimum level of market opening for the use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road between Member States, both for undertakings established in their territories and undertakings established in another Member State. In order to overcome the restrictions limiting its effectiveness and creating an unnecessary burden on undertakings, the agreement aims at establishing a clear, uniform and more flexible regulatory framework.

More particularly, while currently haulage companies have access to hired vehicles only when registered in the Member State where they have their seats, according to 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 related relevant rules are followed. Member States, however, will still be able to restrict the use of vehicles hired in another Member State by their own companies with regard to, amongst other things, the proportion of those registered in another Member State in the fleet of a haulage company and the length of the lease period for a vehicle hired from abroad. Finally, in order to improve enforcement and control illegal cabotage, 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.

The agreement will now need to be approved by the Council; thereafter, Member States will have to incorporate the new provisions by 21 August 2023.

Marco Stillo