Belgium limits foreign lorry transit
Foreign companies who wish to transport cargo by lorry through Belgium will be limited from Wednesday. A maximum of three transports will be allowed for foreign companies going through the country.
The association of transporters, Febetra, thinks that the new measure will be difficult to control.
Foreign companies that make so-called 'cabotage transports' will have to limit the transports they make through Belgium to a maximum of three during a period of 7 days.
The Belgian transport unions have called for this law for a long time because drivers from other European Union countries are often cheaper than Belgian drivers. Furthermore, they often tamper with the drive and rest periods required for lorry drivers, say the unions.
According to EU regulations, European companies can carry out temporary cabotage operations on the territory of other EU member states. The definition of 'temporary' is not given. In this context, Belgium decided to take the initiative and fill in the gaps.
The new regulation will come into effect from the 19 August. Cabotage transports by European transporters outside the Benelux will be limited to 3 in any given 7 day period, and only in connection with international transport. Violation of the rule will result in a EUR 1800 fine, to be paid on the spot. Anyone who commissions an extra cabotage will also be considered jointly responsible for the violation.
The regulation will not apply to transport firms in Luxembourg or the Netherlands. They fall under the more relaxed rules within the Benelux.