Parliament has backed rules allowing member states to prescribe specific modes of transport or routes for transporters of dangerous goods such as chemicals, despite fierce protests from hauliers, who claim that this will “complicate the business exponentially”.
MEPs adopted, on 5 September, a report supporting Commission plans to draw six existing pieces of legislation on the transportation of dangerous goods into a single Directive on the ‘inland transportation of dangerous goods’, covering road, rail and inland waterway transport.
The vote gave backing to a clause – which had been scrapped in an earlier vote within the EP’s transport committee – allowing each of the 27 EU member states to apply more stringent rules or impose specific requirements, such as the use of prescribed routes or modes of transport for the transportation of dangerous goods within their territory.
The rules will also allow countries to prohibit the transportation of dangerous goods across their territory for national security or environmental reasons.
MEPs say the new Directive will make administrative procedures and safety checks easier and will raise the level of training of persons working in the sector, while enabling member states to ensure environmental protection.
But hauliers attacked the plans, saying that having to comply with different rules in different countries would harm the industry and Europe’s competitiveness.