Important relief measures for EU road transport operators enter into force

Friday, May 29, 2020

A patchwork of administrative formalities has been the main challenge for road transport companies during Covid-19. To remove unnecessary burdens and provide flexibility for operators during Covid-19, the EU has approved a set of urgent measures to help transport companies cope with the pandemic’s impacts.

IRU advocated for the extension of the validity of certificates and licences as well as for the extension of compliance deadlines with European Institutions and member states.

“It is a relief to see these laws adopted in a fast track procedure, which only took a month after the proposal was published by the European Commission,” said Raluca Marian, IRU general delegate to the European Union.

Due to public measures that have become necessary in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, transport operators are in many cases not able to complete the necessary formalities or procedures to renew the validity of certificates, licences or authorisations. In order to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal market and to provide legal certainty, temporary provisions extending the validity of certificates, licences or authorisations that would expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020 have been adopted. These temporary measures also ensure that they remain valid during a reasonable period of time during and after the Covid-19 outbreak. The adopted rules include measures for documents such as:

  • Documents for professional drivers
    Truck and bus drivers normally have to complete an initial qualification and periodic training every five years. With the temporary measures in place, the certificates of professional competence, drivers’ qualification cards and drivers’ licences can be extended for a period of seven months.

  • Roadworthiness tests
    Vehicles and trailers are inspected at regular intervals by national authorities to ensure they are in roadworthy condition and meet the same safety standards across the EU. Tests for motor vehicles and their trailers due to be carried out between 1 February and 31 August 2020 can be postponed by up to seven months from the original limit.

  • Community Licences
    The Community Licence attests that the transport operators are established in the European Union and comply with the necessary requirements to provide international commercial road transport services. These licences will be extended by six months. 

 
National authorities periodically check financial standing, and non-compliance can lead to the withdrawal of a company’s Community Licence. Given the reduced level of activity due to the crisis, operators might not be able to demonstrate sufficient financial standing. To reduce the risk of Community Licence loss for such companies, an extension of six months will be granted.

“Transport companies and drivers will clearly benefit from these temporary measures as they will be able to operate again in all EU 27 member states,” said Marian.