The mobility package in road transport: the roll-out has begun
The texts of the so-called Mobility Package were accepted by the European Parliament at second reading on 15 July 2020 and were published on 31 July 2020.
For the time being, we would like to inform you about those provisions of Regulation 2020/1054 which already came into force on 20 August 2020 and which caused an initial shockwave in the road transport sector.
Indeed, the European regulator planned to draw up a specific regulation for the road transport sector, adapted to the highly mobile nature of the sector. Moreover, the European regulator in this sector wanted to tackle not only the posting issue but also various other problems (driving and rest periods, enforcement, accelerated implementation of the smart tachographs, better working conditions for drivers, fair competition conditions on the internal market, etc.).
More specifically, Regulation (EC) No 2020/1054 deals with changes to driving times and rest periods and, in particular, weekly rest periods, in three areas:
- compensation for reduced weekly rest;
- the ban on taking weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle ;
- the four-weekly obligation for the driver to return home.
Where the weekly rest period is reduced, an equivalent period of rest must be taken en bloc before the end of the third week following the week in question.
However, a different regime applies specifically to the international carriage of goods, which is remarkably not a tightening up but rather a relaxation of the existing rules. For example, a driver can now take two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods and divide the rest periods over a longer period of four weeks instead of two weeks as was the case until recently.
In addition, it will be forbidden for a driver to take his weekly rest period in the cabin of his vehicle. From now on, the weekly rest period must be taken during an appropriate stay at the employer’s expense.
It does not need to be said that it will be practically quite a task to accommodate all drivers on the European road network for the weekend …
Last but not least, there is also the obligation for the driver to return, which will probably be the greatest challenge for many transport companies. This obligation to return means that, within a period of four consecutive weeks, the driver must return to the operating site where he is normally stationed or his place of residence for a normal weekly rest period of 45 hours. This, too, will require for transport companies a major shift in the way that they will have to manage their organizational structures.
A number of legislative texts are still awaiting implementing acts on the part of the European Commission and the Member States. We will keep you informed.
If you would like us to think along with you about the practical implementation, please do not hesitate to contact us.