Joint letter from road hauliers’ associations to the EC and ELA

TTLA, NiT Hungary, Polska Unia Transportu, STOWARZYSZENIE POLSKICH PRZEWOŹNIKÓW we Francji, and Move Expert ‘s concerns about roadside control practices in France violating European Law are reflected in a joint letter dated 30.05.2023 to the European Commission and the European Labour Authority:

“We, the undersigned organisations, urge you therefore to take all necessary actions to ensure that the French controlling practices are in line with EU law and follow the EU guidelines and recommendations.

We are aware, that the Commission has already taken some important steps including publication of the Note on enforcement practices of Article 8 (8) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 on the ban to take regular weekly rest periods in a vehicle. Unfortunately, we have not observed any changes in the way controls are executed by the French authorities. We therefore believe that further initiatives are needed from the European Commission and European Labour Authority.

In the recently published Note the European Commission confirms, that “nothing prevents the national authorities from issuing a fine” on the basis of an oral admission of the driver, if legislation in Member States recognises this as valid proof. However, the example of France shows, that in most of these cases, drivers do not understand or do not receive a full interpretation of the request during roadside control and that a penal procedure is opened directly, without requesting supporting documents from the operator. We therefore believe that there is need for common European recommendations.”

In recent months, there have been increasing reports by transport undertakings affected by roadside control practices in France, that compromise the uniform and harmonious controls in the European Union and are in violation with European law. Consequently, based on the findings, , the four above-mentioned Lithuanian, Polish and Hungarian carrier associations have collaborated to draft a joint letter addressed to the EC and ELA. The purpose of this letter is to advocate for the support of the transport sector and urge the implementation of necessary measures to align French control practices with EU law, as well as adhere to EU guidelines and recommendations.

The joint letter addresses several key issues that require immediate attention and resolution. These issues include:

  • Delays in road inspections, extending up to 24-36 hours, which significantly impact the efficiency of the process.
  • Unnecessary pressure being exerted on drivers to provide proof of compliance, creating undue stress and potential hardships.
  • Authorities requesting submission of additional documents that are not mandated by legal acts, leading to confusion and an increased burden on transport operators.
  • The inclination to conduct roadside inspections instead of following the proper protocol of contacting the company for a final inspection, undermining the established procedures.

By highlighting these concerns, the joint letter aims to emphasize the need for harmonized, regular, and fair practices in road inspections, ensuring compliance with legal regulations and promoting transparency in the transport sector.

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