Make sure you know the new rules
The new EU Road Freight Transport Regulations are complex (and inconsistently applied) 

At Aerona (Air & Sea) Customs Clearing Agents Ltd we’ve noticed recently that there is quite a bit of confusion regarding the recently introduced EU road freight transport regulations.  Not surprising really, considering not only the complexity of the new rules, but also the inconsistency with which they are being applied throughout EU countries. 

Nevertheless, even though the UK is no longer a member of the EU, we have to say that it remains the responsibility of the road haulier, plus the transport buyer, to ensure that their transport operation complies with the terms of the law that was adopted in July 2020. 

The main features of the EU road freight transport regulations concern: 

•  Driving and rest times.
•  Access to the market and cabotage operations.
•  EU legal framework for the posting of workers. 

The problem is that the rate of implementation varies between EU member states. Individual countries have to establish criteria under national law in order to certify compliance. It is not unlikely therefore that we shall see legislation variations and also different penalties for non-compliance. 

The main concept of the EU road freight transport regulations is that there is a joint liability between transport buyers and road hauliers in the event of infringement of the new rules. 

The key phrase is: where they knew, or in the light of relevant circumstances, ought to have known, that the transport services they commissioned involved infringements of those provisions. 

In other words, the new EU road freight transport regulations place a legal obligation on the freight forwarder as transport buyer to verify that drivers are paid at the minimum levels in the locations where the transport activity is performed. 

You must also note that there is an obligation to ensure that the registration of drivers is completed by the road haulier. 

To sum up the requirements of the new EU road freight transport regulations, companies engaged in EU road freight movements should follow the guidance set out in the following points: 

•  Regular (annual) signing of a letter of legal requirement by the road haulier.
•  Check the national rules on sanctions for freight forwarders in case of infringements of posting rules (available on member states’ posting websites). 
•  Check the minimum wages applicable to drivers in each EU member state where a commissioned driver is posted. 
•  Request the road haulier to send examples of payslips of the posted driver. 
•  Request the road haulier to prove the submission of the posting declarations on the public interface. 

As we mentioned earlier, the implementation of the new EU road freight transport regulations is still inconsistent throughout the different EU countries. 

The view of Aerona is that the enforcement of the new EU road freight transport regulations will not be possible until the new Smart Tachograph version 2 is introduced. But please note that this will be mandatory for newly registered vehicles involved in international transport as from 21st August 2023 and for all vehicles involved in international transport as from 21st August 2025.

Having said that, at Aerona we fully recommend that you become fully au fait with the new EU road freight transport regulations as quickly as possible. 

If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us on: 0161 652 3443 and we will do our very best to be of assistance.
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Please remember, at Aerona we are here to help you.