Over a period of decades most EU Member States have adopted individual national rules specifically related to loaded car transporters. These mostly allow front and/or rear overhangs extending beyond the transporter body which then allow a total loaded length in excess of the EU-wide standard truck length of 18.75m. This restricts international movements to the lowest limit of the countries that the planned journey will pass through, creating inefficiencies as well as creating training issues to ensure drivers are fully aware of applicable legislation wherever they go.
ECG has been lobbying for many years for a standard minimum loaded length for car transporters in Europe of at least 20.75m to remove many of the existing differences. When the original Directive 96/53/EC was being reviewed in 2012-15 ECG stepped up its campaign and, in April 2014, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of our proposal. Critically almost no Member States disagreed with the principle but in the end ran out of the time necessary to reach agreement between them all on the exact wording to be used in the new Directive. For now the status quo has been maintained and the good news is that a review of the new Directive 2015/719 has been promised 3 years after the national implementation deadline in May 2017. The downside is that for now the plethora of different national rules continues.
During 2015 the European Parliament carried out a review of the 2011 Transport White Paper. After further lobbying by ECG a report was adopted in September 2015 which includes a call for the 2020 review of 2015/719 to take “….into consideration specific characteristics of certain market segments such as specialised car transporters used within the sector of finished vehicle logistics.” This resolution provides a strong signal ahead of the review.
ECG's current objectives
Lobby during the national implementation of Directive 2015/719 to see if individual Member States will consider harmonising to at least 20.75m.
Lobby ahead of the 2020 review to get agreement between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the individual Member States which would enable a review of the Directive to specifically allow car transporters to load to at least 20.75m across Europe.
Below you will find ECG's position paper on the subject