In order to secure effective enforcement of rules within the road transport of goods, there is a need for common rules as well as exchange of information on road transport operators between competent authorities from all Member States. In the EU, exchange of information is possible via the European Registers of Road Transport Undertakings (ERRU), which are operational since 2013. In order to further harmonise classification of infringements as well as national approaches towards controls of road transport operators, the European Commission has recently adopted Implementing Regulations on the classification of the new common risk rating formula and the definition of serious infringement.
What is ERRU
As explained on the European Commission website, “ERRU (European Registers of Road Transport Undertakings), is an electronic system that allows Member States to exchange information on road transport companies. ERRU interconnects the national electronic registers on road transport undertakings of the different Member States, so that the competent authorities can mutually exchange information contained in their respective databases.”
The obligation to establish national electronic registers and to interconnect them was introduced by Regulation No 1071/2009 on the access to the profession of road transport undertakings. The current version of ERRU provides information, among others, on the good repute of transport managers, on the validity of community licences and on infringements committed by transport undertakings in foreign territory. As of 2023, ERRU will be again adapted in order to include the information on risk rating of the transport undertakings and additional information facilitating the detection of letterbox companies, as foreseen within the Mobility Package 1.
According to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/480 the following main functionalities shall be provided via ERRU:
- Check Good Repute (CGR): allows the requesting Member State to send a query to one or all responding Member States, to determine the fitness of a transport manager and so the authorisation to operate a transport undertaking.
- Infringement Notification (INF): allows the Member State of infringement to notify the Member State of establishment that the transport undertaking has committed a serious infringement as referred to in Article 6(2)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009. It also allows the Member State of infringement to request that penalties be applied to the transport undertaking in the Member State of establishment.
- Check Community Licence (CCL): allows the requesting Member State to send a query to the responding Member State (i.e. the Member State of establishment) to determine if a transport undertaking is operating with a valid Community licence.
ERRU includes penalty points collected by road transport undertakings for violation of road transport law. The long list of potential offences includes violations of the rules on driving and rest times, tachographs, working times, weight and dimensions, the technical condition of the vehicle, speed limits, driver competence and the transport of dangerous goods by road. Every violation attracts a number of points- in case a company exceeds its point limits it risks having its licence suspended or revoked. Rules on access to information recorded in national registers such as status of good repute or the number of penalty points collected vary from country to country.
On the European Commission website you may find a database of all national contact points and national registers being part of ERRU: list-of-national-contact-points.xls (live.com).
Recent changes introduced by Mobility Package I
In May 2022 the European Commission adopted two implementing regulations as part of Mobility Package I to render checks for compliance with EU road transport rules more targeted and consistent throughout the EU.
- Updated classification of serious infringements
The first initiative, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/694, updates the classification of serious infringements that may lead to a road transport operator’s loss of good repute (Annex I: Categorisation of serious infringements). The new instrument adds new infringement types arising from the adoption of the Mobility Package I and will ensure that Member States assess these infringements by road transport operators in a harmonised way. Serious infringements to laws on contractual obligations, cabotage and the posting of workers in road transport have been added to the list of infringements that may lead to the loss of good repute.
According to the Regulation not only commitment of most serious infringement (MSI) may trigger procedure on the loss of good repute. “Taking into account the potential of creating a risk to road safety the maximum frequency of serious infringements beyond which they should be considered as more serious shall be established as follows:
- 3 serious infringements (SI)/per vehicle/per year = 1 very serious infringement (VSI)
- 3 very serious infringements/per vehicle/per year = launch of a national procedure on good repute.”
The penalty points expire after 2 years.
- Common formula for calculation of risk rating
The second initiative, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/695, establishes a common formula for calculating the risk rating of EU road transport undertakings. The risk rating is calculated based on the number and severity of infringements against the EU road transport rules committed by the road transport operators and their drivers. It is recorded in national risk rating systems established under enforcement Directive 2006/22/EC. A common risk calculation formula will ensure equal treatment of operators in compliance checks and will allow for comparability of risk scores. The next step will be to give road-side inspectors access to this data on risk scores.
The overall risk rating formula takes into account a number of factors such as:
- number of infringements of a given type per individual check (all types of controls),
- weighted score according to type/seriousness of infringement (MI-1/SI-10/VSI-30/MSI-90),
- number of vehicles controlled during an individual check,
- total number of checks on the undertaking,
- weighting for the use of the smart tachograph pursuant to Chapter II of Regulation (EU) No 165/2014.
The period of time during which an infringement is counted in the formula shall be 2 years.
Transport operators shall be classified into the following risk bands based on their score:
- operators on which no checks were performed (grey band),
- 0-100 points: low-risk operators (green band),
- 101-200 points: medium-risk operators (amber band),
- 201 points or more: high risk operators (red band).