The land transport agreement with Switzerland
The EC/Switzerland land transport agreement covers goods and passenger transport by road and by rail. It entered into force on 1 July 2002 and aims to fully liberalise the access to the contracting parties’ transport markets. As concerns the road transport, EC hauliers and Swiss hauliers are already free to carry out transports between a Member State and Switzerland and vice versa. Almost half of all road goods transport of the EU with third countries is carried out with Switzerland. Under the terms of the Agreement Switzerland also abolished its weight restrictions for heavy goods vehicles: since January 2005 the maximum permissible weight in Switzerland is 40 tonnes (the same as in the EU). Also, the Agreement provided for the introduction of the Swiss distance based heavy vehicles road charge. Regarding rail, Switzerland has taken on the obligation to liberalise its rail transport market by enacting the EU’s rail liberalisation packages.
Alpine Traffic Observatory
This Observatory has been set up jointly with Switzerland to collect data and prepare reports on goods transport by road and by rail across the Alps.
The EEA Agreement
The Agreement on the European Economic Area basically extends the EU internal market to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. As regards road transport this entails that these three countries apply the EU road transport rules just as the EU Member States. Annex XIII of the EEA Agreement contains the EU transport acquis and is regularly updated by decisions of the EEA Joint Committee.
As regards passenger transport the INTERBUS agreement covers occasional services between the EU and Croatia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYROM, Montenegro and Moldova. The Commission has proposed to amend the agreement and adopted a recommendation to Council, which is under discussion.
The agreement provides for a harmonised regulatory framework to facilitate passenger services betweens these countries.
The AETR agreement concerns the work of crews of vehicles engaged in international road transport. The agreement covers 49 contracting parties including all EU Member States. Its provisions are aligned with the current EU legislation on driving times, breaks and rest periods. In 2006 the AETR agreement was amended in order to introduce the use of the digital tachograph, which became mandatory for the contracting parties in 2010.
See also the UN-EC website