Council signs off clearer and more flexible rules on hired lorries

21 Dec 2021 12:16 PM

The Council yesterday gave its final green light for revised rules for the use of hired road vehicles for goods transport. The European Parliament is expected to approve them shortly.

The reform approved yesterday clarifies the rules, harmonises the legal framework and eases the restrictions on the use of such vehicles. Increased flexibility on hiring vehicles will make transport operations more efficient and contribute to the smooth functioning of the single market. In addition, hired vehicles tend to be newer, safer and more environmentally friendly.

Jernej Vrtovec, Slovenian Minister for Infrastructure yesterday said:

With the adoption of this reform, the first mobility package is complete. Road haulage companies will now have access to a larger fleet of hired lorries to help them meet seasonal demands and other short-term needs. Wider use of these often greener vehicles will also help us meet our climate targets.

When will the new rules apply?

EU countries will need to have incorporated the new provisions into their national legislation 14 months after the entry into force of the directive.

This reflects the timeline for putting in place the additional control measures required by the first mobility package.

Procedure and next steps

Yesterday’s vote means that the Council has adopted its position at first reading. The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the EU Official Journal.

The negotiators from the Council and the European Parliament reached a political agreement on the proposal on 26 October 2021. The Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved the agreement on 12 November 2021.

The hired vehicles reform is part of the first mobility package, which was presented by the Commission in May 2017 and aims to make transport cleaner, more competitive and socially fairer. The Council agreed its negotiating position in June 2021.

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