Vice-President Kallas remarks to Transport Committee on longer modular trucks

26/03/2012

Longer modular trucks

"In a letter sent last month, I have been asked by an industry organisation, the International Road Transport Union whether the cross-border use of longer trucks is forbidden by the current Directive. This is a complex issue.

The wording of certain articles is confusing. It is clear that the Directive allows Member States to go beyond the maximum dimensions, and to allow longer trucks on their territories, in particular vehicles using the modular concept. But the wording of the Directive is less straightforward when it comes to the cross-border use of such vehicles between consenting Member States, and to the conditions attached.  Let us be frank: previous attempts of the Commission to provide explanations have failed to bring the legal and complete clarity needed. It seems to me that forbidding vehicles using the modular concept to cross borders between consenting Member States contributes no environmental benefit (strictly, a modular truck could be driven to one side of the border, un-coupled and taken across the border in two parts, and then re-coupled to continue the journey), but simply adds inconvenience by creating artificial obstacles at borders..  Thus, in the light of the IRU letter, I decided to carry out a more detailed analysis together with the Commission services to clarify the legal position.

Their conclusion is that the directive does not prohibit the cross-border use of longer trucks provided a number of conditions are respected.

The response I therefore intend to give to the IRU is that not only can Member States allow the use of longer vehicles for national transport, they can also allow the cross-border use of such longer vehicles, but only on a number of conditions. The first is that both Member States concerned must already permit the use of these vehicles within their borders. No Member State will have to accept longer trucks on its territory if it does not wish to."

Contacts :

Helen Kearns(+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd(+32 2 295 74 61)

More info:

Vice-President Kallas remarks to Transport Committee on longer modular trucks [MEMO/12/219]

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