Why international transport should be excluded
Despite the Commission’s former statements that the Posting of Workers Directive is practically inapplicable to cross border transport and the Commission’s launch of infringement cases against countries like Germany and France for systematically applying the posting rules to drivers carrying out international transport within their territories and being in breach of EU’s rules of free movement of services and goods, the Commission’s legislative proposal in the Mobility Package, which was launched in May 2017, is going in an opposite direction.
However, the Commission proposal for a lex specialis in road transport where drivers are subject to posting rules goes against all EU internal market achievements and adversely impacts the transport and logistics industry for the following reasons:
The application goes against the transnational character of road transport activities. It is based on a flawed analogy with other industries where workers are based in one other given country than their own for months or years – the rules are therefore inapplicable to drivers who work on a daily or even hourly basis in different Member States
The road transport sector is hypermobile and drivers cross borders on a daily basis. If cross border activities will become subject to the Posting of Workers Directive, it will become very burdensome for drivers, for companies as well as control authorities to apply different national labour laws with different remunerations and holiday systems, different compositions of minimum wage, different social entitlements, different collective agreements and much more. Some countries operate with up to 50 different wage rates depending on the transported goods, the vehicle used, the seniority of the driver and other criteria. The requirements for paid leave are not simpler – the different national legislations in EU are clashing, rendering the Directive inapplicable in practice. Applying posting rules to international transport would therefore be an unenforceable and disproportionate legislation that will not solve any of the issues that the transport market is currently challenged by.
The application of posting rules discriminates peripheral countries whose international hauliers are much more likely to cross several borders to serve markets abroad and will therefore have to cope with much more red tape.
The application of posting rules will on a long term basis diminish growth in the EU, as it will increase costs of international transport, hamper the efficient delivery of goods and negatively impact the end-consumer who will pay the bill for unenforceable and disproportionate legislation, also rendering EU less competitive in a global perspective.
The mobility package should be regarded as such – a package – because a lot of questions will be resolved with other initiatives within the package, thus not needing to apply the Posting of Workers Directive to international transport.
Now there is no time to waste, it is crucial that an agreement is struck before the European elections in 2019 to prevent the continued imposition of national posting regimes. Members of the TRAN Committee have seriously considered the exclusion of international transport from the scope of the Directive and the organizations of the Declaration continue to call for a full exclusion of international transport from the posting rules.
If you'd like to join the efforts to secure that new rules are compatible with EU law and respect the Single Market, protecting hauliers in Europe from legislative discrimination no matter which countries they are based in, as well as ensuring smooth and seamless transport for Europe, please join the declaration by writing to: