Revision of the Weights and Dimensions Directive 96/53/EC

This page is also available in

Practical Information

  • Composition of the Drafting Group
  • Administrator Agota Bazsik, Assistant: Maria Grazia Ruocco 
  • TEN Section: 6 October 2023
  • EESC plenary: 25-26 October 2023


The Council Directive 96/53/EC on the maximum weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles (‘Weights and Dimensions Directive’) sets standards for the maximum weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles used in national and international transport to ensure the free movement of goods. It removes the obstacles to traffic between Member States and improves the conditions of competition, while protecting the infrastructure and ensuring road safety.

It was amended in 2015 (Directive (EU) 2015/719) to help make road transport energy efficient, to reduce greenhouse emissions and improve road safety and working conditions for drivers. The directive was amended again by Regulation (EU) 2019/1242, introducing measures to encourage market take-up of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. These are generally heavier than conventional heavy-duty vehicles, mostly due to the weight of the battery.

The revision of the Weights and Dimensions Directive should address the following problems:

  • fragmentation of the market for the use of oversized and overweighed vehicles
  • insufficient uptake of alternatively fuelled and zero-emission vehicles and aerodynamic rear devices and cabs,
  • ineffective and inconsistent enforcement of cross-border transport rules for heavy-duty vehicles.

In addition, the directive needs to help meet the climate ambitions of the European Green Deal.

The initiative is part of the Comission´s Greening freight package, which includes measures to increase rail use for freight and passenger transport, as well as a revision of the combined transport directive.