Press release: New EU road haulage rules could undermine the EU Green Deal 14/01/21

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New EU road haulage rules could undermine the European Green Deal

A study1 unveiled today on the impact of the new EU road haulage rules2 on Combined Transport projects an 8% decline of Combined Transport volumes by 2030 if the new rules are fully implemented.  The shocking result is the consequence of a near double cost increase for short-distance trucking, an essential component of intermodal transport chains, versus long-distance trucking, which is its number one competitor.

Combined Transport is expected to contribute to European decarbonization by saving up to 40 million tonnes of the transport sector’s CO2 emissions under the European Green Deal3 and in line with the Strategy on Smart and Sustainable Mobility4.  The substantial contribution of Combined Transport to the decarbonisation will turn into an addition of 12 million tonnes of CO2 to the carbon emissions of transport between 2020 and 2030 in case the new EU road haulage rules are to take effect without any countermeasures.

The European Green Deal objective that “a substantial part of the 75% of inland freight carried today by road (should) should shift to rail and inland waterways” can only be realized if the competitiveness of Combined Transport is not undermined by regulatory means.


The following countermeasures are recommended:

▪       Member States should refrain from exercising the optional suspension of Article 4 of the Combined Transport Directive, especially as the targeted objectives can be more efficiently achieved through clever enforcement.

▪       The user-pays and polluter-pays principles should be upheld to the maximum when agreeing the amendment of the Eurovignette Directive and when amending the Energy Taxation Directive – anticipated to be tabled in 2021.

▪       The framework for adequate Temporary Compensatory Measures should be defined within the upcoming revision of the Combined Transport Directive.

▪       Transparency and the complete informedness of decisionmakers should be ensured through regular and comparably structured reporting by the Member States.

The UIRR position paper5 issued on the occasion of the study’s publication contains fact sheets for the TOP10 most affected Member States: Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Spain and Hungary.

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2 The EU legislation on access to the road haulage market and  the social/working/posting rules of truck drivers: 2020/1054, 2020/1055 and 2020/1057 adopted in July 2020 as part of Mobility Package 1


































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