The carriage of passengers by coach and bus is subject to Regulation 684/92 of 16 March 1992, as amended by Regulation 11/98 of 11 December 1997 which lays down common rules, defines the conditions for applying the principle of free movement and simplifies the administrative procedures. As from 4 December 2011 the currently applicable rules will be replaced by the provisions of Regulation 1073/2009 which simplify and clarify the current regime, notably by streamlining the authorisation procedure for regular services and by modernising the cooperation mechanism between Member States' authorities.
The Regulation defines the different types of coach and bus service:
- regular services
- special regular services (e.g. the transport of workers or schoolchildren
- occasional services (e.g. the transport of a group of young people to a concert in another Member State, or a one-off tourist trip)
- own-account transport and related authorisations and rules.
National authorisations are required for regular services for hire or reward. For occasional services only a journey form is needed, for special regular services a contract must be drawn up between the organiser and the transport operator and for own-account transport a certificate is required (issued by the Member State in which the vehicle is registered).
The Community license also allows hire or reward transport operators to perform international passenger transport operations on European Union territory, regardless of nationality or place of establishment.
Cabotage operations (national passenger transport operations carried out on a temporary basis by non-resident operators), governed by Council Regulation 12/98 of 11 December 1997 are in general allowed on a temporary basis.