The systems in use in the EEC will influence the eventual Community controls
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IN ORDER TO carry out its planning role the Common Market Commission at Brussels keeps an up-to-date record of the current law and practice of road transport licensing. As quickly as possible, the rules for entry to the profession of road transport, and the conditions for operating, are being brought into line.
At any time during the 30-odd years of carriers' licensing in Britain the contrast with Europe would have been less stark. Today, when entry to haulage work is in Britain virtually unrestricted, and the Transport Manager's Licence Committee appears to be dead on its feet, transport operators here will not wish to be reminded of the restrictions which fetter many of their colleagues across the Channel. Nor will they enjoy reading about the professional examinations which are enjoined by some member countries of the Six.
Dealing first with conditions of entry to the profession of road haulage, differences from British requirements are minimal; the wording varies . but generally, convictions arising from dishonest acts such as forgery, cheating, theft, receiving of stolen goods, breach of fiscal laws, and laws concerning social security and protection of property, preclude entry to the road transport industry. Germany is much tougher than Italy, where verification of moral fitness is left to the discretion of the licensing authorities, and Luxembourg, where there are no specific conditions concerning transport. Luxembourg, however, bans prospective entrants who would be unable to gain entry to other . industrial and corn merci at professions.
Financial capacity The vexed question of financial capacity of new entrants presents no problem in Belgium, where there are no requirements but in Italy the applicant must prove he has sufficient financial means, and the licensing authorities exercise their discretion. In the Netherlands those seeking entry to road transport must have a working capital of at least 3000 florins, plus 500 fiorMs per ton of effective load to be licensed, with a total capital of at least 5000 florMs. This financial qualification does not apply to temporary licence holders or to milk, meat and certain forms of agricultural transport, eg from farm to market. In West Germany a long-distance transport licence is only granted if the applicant's financial capacity guarantees the regular functioning of all the operations. The carrier must own the vehicles or be acquiring them on hire purchase. In case of bankruptcy the licence is withdrawn.
Professional capacity The greatest contrast with British conditions lies in the varying requirements determining the professional capacity of new entrants. There may be no conditions laid down for short-distance transport (25 or 50km radius of base) but requirements get tougher for those seeking a national or international licence.
For example, in Belgium, to obtain a licence for national transport the applicant must prove that he has operated short-distance transport without interruption for at least three years and has collected a minimum of 40,000fr per licensed ton of effective load. The Belgian international operator must hold a certificate of professional competence issued by the Minister of Communications after the successful completion of an examination including written and oral tests, The Federal Republic of Germany requires an applicant to have had at least three years' experience with one or more firms carrying goods by road enabling him to have acquired knowledge of regulations, highway codes, social legislation, accounting and costing, etc. Should the applicant not possess this practical experience he must sit an examination held by a joint examining body from the Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
In France, anyone seeking registration as a road carrier must produce one of the following: transport technician's certificate; professional diploma of transport and auxiliary activities, or admissibility to the third stage of the professional diploma tests.
Provisionally, up to December 31 1975, proof of capability issued by the Minister of Transport after an examination provides exemption from the above requirements, and certain diplomas also provide exemption from one of the prerequisites.
The first two qualifications are achieved by professional training, either as a member of staff or in control; they are acquired by scholastic training or by promotion within a company. These are eventually likely to constitute the normal means of entry to the profession, particularly for sons of carriers.
Preparation for the examination certifying capability consists of a correspondence course lasting three months and a practical session lasting two weeks. Candidates pay for these courses, which are organized by the French Association for the Development of Professional Training in Transporting (AFT).
Italy requires new entrants to national transport of goods and passengers by road to hold a certificate of professional aptitude. Anyone holding such a certificate but not having had at least six months' experience of international transport has to pass an examination for professional ability.
In the Netherlands new entrants to road transport must have had at least two years' practical experience and must hold a diploma of "theoretical professional ability" issued after an examination. Dutch international hauliers need, in addition, a diploma signifying competence in international road transport.
Quite apart from entry control barriers the practice of road transport is subject to conditions. Generally, the law in the various countries distinguishes between shortdistance and long-distance transport. The German Federal Republic sub-divides long-distance transport as transport within a radius of 150km (radial distance) of base and general long-distance transport without limits over the entire territory of the Republic. There is a special licence for long-distance furniture removing covering the whole country.
In France the law distinguishes between carriage in a cartage zone (local), carriage within a short distance and in long-distance zones. The cartage zones are defined by ministerial decree with one or more per "departement". The long-distance zone covers all France.
French register Certain types of transport requiring special vehicles and occasional transport with vehicles with a maximum licensed weight of under 2500 kg, are uncontrolled.
Professional road transport undertaken for third parties in France can only be done by companies entered in the register of road carriers and regular and special goods services can only be carried out by companies whose entry in the register is endorsed specifying the number of vehicles licensed for these services — and where applicable, the range of products to be carried.
French road transport of goods is restricted to licensed vehicles where the total weight of the licensed load is more than 6,000kg, or to vehicles belonging to registered road carriers where the total weight of the licensed load is between 2500kg and 6000kg. The limit of 6000kg ;an be increased to 11,000kg.
Certificates of registration, issued of tett, are valid for the whole of France. The icences are valid for seven years and are ssued to the company and not to any fixed mhicle. They are divided up into categories iccording to their geographical validity, and nto classes according to the licensed load of he groups of vehicles they cover.
There is provision in France for :onversion of licences of one particular lass to another. While transport licences Or cartage zones are obtainable by right, hort-distance licensing is to be
■ rogressively freed from controls. But mg-distance work is contingent on the use lade of the licence and on observance of egulations. When the needs of the economy istify this, the licensing authority decides he number of supplementary licences to be ;sued for the different classes and special ases. Consultations are held with an dvisory committee representative of the rofessional organizations of road carriers, .ansport employees, vehicle hire firms, an sport users and railways. In the case of recession, the licences are only renewable ithin the limits of a lower number of cences held by the company.
A similar system of consultation applies Italy where the licensing of vehicles trrying over 5000kg depends upon a quota Tangement in each province. Among the allies consulted are the provincial heads of me road transport office — EAM and also me regional committee for transport )-ordination and the interministerial mmission for the examination of .oblems concerning goods transport.
In the Netherlands the goods transport w distinguishes between regular collection and delivery and occasional services. C and D services covers the paid transport of goods involving picking up and delivering to their destination goods which will be or have been forwarded by one or several regular services. Occasional services cover goods carried for money which are not included either in regular or C and D services.
Although goods transport in Holland is not subject to quotas it is subject to traffic requirements to assure co-ordination and to safeguard the general interests of transport.
Most licences have a validity of 10 years. Only licences for regular transport may be withdrawn, in particular if the general interests require this. Other licences can only be withdrawn at the request of the holder or if the corresponding transport has not been undertaken.
Licences are granted by the Commission of transport licences (Commissie Vervoervergunningen) an autonomousbody composed of independent experts appointed by the Minister of Transport. Lorries with effective loads of under 500kg do not need a licence.
Regular service licences are only issued after the authority has decided that the transport is needed either in the type, or the region in question. The licence must mention the departure and arrival points of the service, as well as the loading and unloading points; it can, also, impose a timetable. C and D and occasional services are not issued without a check by the authority that the interests of established operators will not be adversely affected. In brief, licensing has regard to needs. In general the carrier may not put one lorry to two different uses.
International licenses for Dutch hauliers are not required for movements within the BENELUX area. Longer-distance work requires licensees to hold a national licence for occasional transport. The licence fixes the loading capacity and can be limited to certain countries. The needs of freighters (senders) and carriers are taken into account by the authority.
France has detailed regulations for contract hire vehicles. When vehicles are at the exclusive disposal of the hirer the latter is responsible for adhering to regulations if he supplies the driver. If the hirer supplies the driver he is the responsible party. Vehicle hire firms must be entered in a register which contains the same information as entries in the register of professional road carriers. Hire vehicles must either have a licence, if the total weight of the vehicle plus authorized load is over 6000kg, or it must have a certificate of registration of the hire firm, if the total weight of the vehicle complete with authorized load is between 2500 and 6000kg. (The limit of 6000kg can be extended to 11,000kg.
Certificates of registration are issued by right and are valid for the whole of France. Hire licences are of two types: long-term licences, which cover the placing at the exclusive disposal of a hirer a particular vehicle for at least six months; or successive hire licences which cover the placing at the successive disposal of a number of hirers a vehicle without any minimum time limit.
Successive hire licences are in three classes, like professional transport licenses, and are differentiated according to their geographic validity. Long-term hire licences are applicable to one particular vehicle and are only valid for one single-hire period with one single hirer. They can be limited to a short-distance zone or to carriage of a certain type of goods with tank vehicles. In all other cases the licences are valid for the whole of France..
Successive hire licences for cartage zones are obtainable by right. Short-distance zone traffic licensing is being progressively relaxed. But long-distance zone licences are subject to exactly the same conditions as professional transport. Long term hire licences are obtainable or can be extended by right, on condition that all specific requirements are met.
What clues can be deduced from this summary of licensing in the Common Market? There are some dominant themes, notably the reserve powers to control the quantity of transport on offer and the varying — but likely to be increasingly stringent — requirements for professionalism of operators. It is interesting to speculate on changes that may be required when the British road transport licensing system is married into that of the Common Market.