The EESC welcomes this further step in removing some of the remaining obstacles to an effective and equitable single market in the European road haulage sector. In this instance the amending directive is concerned with facilitating the best use of vehicle fleets across Europe, particularly during seasonal peaks, and achieves a minimum level of liberalisation. The use of a vehicle hired in another Member State is to be allowed for at least four months to enable undertakings to meet temporary or seasonal demand peaks and/or to replace defective or damaged vehicles.
To discourage operators from taking advantage of lower vehicle registration taxation between Member States, measures should be applied, for example a cap on the proportion of the fleet owned by an operator that can be temporarily transferred to an affiliate operator in another Member State.
The Committee notes that even though increasingly effective tracing methods are being applied illegal cabotage remains a significant problem in the haulage sector. There is some risk that detection may be made more difficult with the implementation of measures in this Directive.