The European Commission has today issued guidance to ensure the continuous flow of goods across the EU.
EU Press release here – https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_510
The full document (11 pages, summarised with this e-mail) is available via the below:
Annex 2 of the above (pages 9 and 10) features recommendations for Drivers and relevant Transport related undertakings involved in Freight transport following the COVID-19 outbreak.
These are in line with the guidelines for border management measures to ensure the availability of goods and essential services (published on 16 March).
As announced by Commission President von der Leyen, the Commission has set out four objectives for the ‘green lanes’ to make real progress in view of the current problems affecting road freight transport in the EU:
- Crossing a border on a ‘green lane’ should not take longer than 15 minutes. The current queues of 40-60km, amounting to the waiting time of 18 hours or more, are unacceptable.
- The ‘green lanes’ should be open to vehicles carrying any type of goods.
- National governments should suspend restrictions such as bans on driving on weekends or at night.
- There should be less paperwork for transport workers of all nationalities to enable them to cross borders more rapidly.
CLECAT have reported to us that they have observed that certain Member States, for example the Czech Republic, have already introduced the green lanes for priority transfers of several goods (e.g. medical products and devices or perishable goods) on their border sections. Moreover, a number of Member States (including Spain, Germany, Austria, Slovakia) have temporarily relaxed the rules on driving and rest times for drivers involved in domestic and international delivery of goods.
Some of the more pertinent pieces of information from today’s guidance are featured here:
Green lane border crossings: Procedures at green lane border crossings should be minimised and streamlined to what is strictly necessary. Checks and screening should be carried out without drivers having to leave their vehicles, and drivers themselves should undergo only minimal checks. Drivers of freight vehicles should not be asked to produce any document other than their identification and driving license and if necessary a letter from the employer. The electronic submission/display of documents should be accepted.
- No freight vehicle or driver should face discrimination, irrespective of origin and destination, the driver’s nationality or the vehicle’s country of registration.
- Application of rules for transport workers: To keep transport moving, the Commission recommends that Member States take action to ensure the free movement of all workers involved in international transport, whatever the transport mode. In particular, rules such as travel restrictions, and mandatory quarantine of transport workers not displaying symptoms, should be waived. For example, Member States should not require that transport workers carry a doctor’s certificate to prove their good health. To ensure the safety of transport workers, enhanced hygiene and operational measures are also needed in airports, ports, railway stations and other land transport hubs. Today’s note from the Commission includes a full list of recommendations to protect drivers from the coronavirus (Annex 2).
- Internationally recognised certificates of professional competence should be considered sufficient to prove that a worker is active in international transport. In the absence of such certificates (not all international drivers have one), a letter signed by the employer (Annex 3) should be accepted.
Coronavirus section on IIFA website
IIFA has dedicated a section of its website to Freight Industry relevant Coronavirus updates. This information can be found via the link below: