COUNCIL OF INTERMODAL SHIPPING CONSULTANTS
ANNO XXXVI - Numero 31 MAGGIO 2018
LAW & REGULATION
DEADLINE FOR AMENDMENTS TO COMBINED TRANSPORT DIRECTIVE
The deadline for suggesting amendments to the Combined Transport
Directive was yesterday, 16 May.
The European Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee
Rapporteur, Daniela Aiuto, has delivered her report to the European
Commission with at least 27 amendments.
Policymakers, industry leaders and stakeholders discussed the
piece of legislation during the Multimodal Year 2018 - The Future Of
Transport event, held in Brussel on the same day.
The Combined Transport Directive (92/106/EEC) is an EU
instrument that aims to reduce the negative side-effects of goods
transport on the environment and on society by supporting the shift
from long distance road transport to long distance rail, inland
waterways and maritime transport through economic incentives.
However, stemming from 1992 without any prior amendment, the
legislative piece is outdated and unlikely to realise the objected
The European Commission has proposed amendments to the Directive
and carried out several consultation exercises over the last four
The Parliament delivered its feedback yesterday.
Extended scope of support
"Wit our proposal, we want to modernise the Directive and
see how we can extend the scope of support for combined transport.
If you look at the overall share of intermodal transport covered
by the directive today, about forty per cent can benefit from the
measures, either regulatory or economically.
We want to increase this share by seventy per cent", said
Gzim Ocakoglu, Deputy Head of Unit European Commission.
With this objective in mind, the commission has proposed to
extend the scope of the definition of road transport, he explained.
"While the current legislation focuses merely on
international transport, we have now included national transport as
Another amendment is the increased length of the road leg to 150
kilometres as the crow flies.
In case of rail-road combined transport, the road leg is limited
to transport to the nearest suitable rail loading and unloading
The maximum distance of the road leg will be increased to 150
kilometres with a twenty per cent flexibility.
150km road leg
"The Parliament supports the extension of the road leg to
150 kilometres", revealed rapporteur Aiuto.
The extension serves specific shippers needs, such as in
countries like Sweden, where long distances are unavoidable.
There is however much to be debated about the flexibility
Flexibility could either be based on certain criteria set by the
Directive, or be left to the individual Member States, she
In general, authorisation of the respective states is considered
to be step back, towards more regulation in a sector that benefits
The International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport
proposed the possibility to "exceed the maximum allowed road
leg distance on either end of a combined transport operation based
on the prerogative and justification of the operator of the
transport in order to continue with existing combined transport
operations that require a longer road distance for deficiencies of
the rail infrastructure or the existence of freight terminals",
in another amendment.
Apart from widening the scope of support, more investment is
needed in infrastructure, most importantly in building more
multimodal terminals to support combined transport operations, said
"In Central Europe, where there is a lot of combined
transport, there are enough terminals but there is a shortage of
We propose more investment in this field."
But also this measure leaves room for debate, as a
one-size-fits-all solution is not desirable, pointed out Anders
Windfeldt Jensen, Transport Attaché from Denmark.
"There are different levels of development and transport
systems in the individual Member States."
Aiuto added: "Terminal-building should be incentivised, but
Ocakoglu ensured that the focus is on the right terminals, with
the necessary capacity to provide services for different transport
modes, rather than a lot of terminals in a given area.
(from: railjournal.com, May 17th 2018)
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