Ireland announces Cabotage flexibilty for car transporter

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Paschal Donohoe T.D., has announced that, in line with the agreement of the European Commission to selectively relax cabotage rules in Ireland when the needs of the Irish transport industry require it, cabotage restrictions in Ireland are being temporarily suspended for car transporters from other EU Member States.
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This will allow Irish car transporter firms and Irish motor dealers to avail of spare car transporter capacity in other EU Member States during the Irish peak demand season at the beginning of the year.

EU rules on cabotage in the road haulage sector were agreed in December 2009. The rules make it difficult to deal with periods of high demand. Some sectors of the haulage industry have high levels of peak seasonal demand, where they have previously imported capacity from other Member States. Where other Member States have their own peaks, then Irish hauliers were used to satisfy their demand. One such sector is the car transporter industry, which in Ireland has its peak in December, January and February, when new cars are being bought and registered.

To address this problem, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland has, at the request of the car transporter sector in Ireland, agreed with the European Commission that Ireland would relax its cabotage rules for car transporter vehicles at the end of each year and early in each new year, so that Irish firms can subcontract to other non-Irish firms during that period, or that car dealers can contract directly with non-Irish firms during that time, if they wish. At the end of the period, the cabotage rules would be re-applied to those vehicles again. This arrangement allows Irish car transporters to avail of spare capacity in other EU Member States, and so fulfil the needs of the Irish motor dealer industry.

Accordingly, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to formally announce that the cabotage restrictions in Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on common rules for access to the international road haulage market (recast), as they apply to car transporter vehicles only, are hereby lifted in Ireland during the period of Monday 24 November 2014 to Friday 27 February 2015 inclusive, after which date those cabotage restrictions will reapply to those vehicles. This arrangement does not alter any operator’s obligations under other EU or Irish law while operating in Ireland in relation to vehicle or road safety, driver’s hours or working time, or any other appropriate road transport or safety requirement.