The European Commission has proposed a grace period until the end of the year for trucks and coaches registered since 21st August 2023 to be equipped with the new smart tachograph version 2 (SMT2), for both national and international transport, as advocated for by the International Road Transport Union (IRU).
Member States can give operators until 18th August 2025 to retrofit heavy-duty vehicles registered between 21st August 2023 and 31st December 2023 with SMT2 devices. This date is aligned with the retrofitting deadline for vehicles not equipped with SMT2 devices engaged in international transport operations.
IRU director of EU advocacy Raluca Marian said: “We’re glad to see that the Commission has listened to us and EU Member States. There simply aren’t enough smart tachograph 2 devices available right now.
“Without this grace period, tens of thousands of new trucks and coaches would have been stuck at warehouses and parking lots across the EU.
“Several Member States had unilaterally decided to provide a grace period. But we’re happy to see that the Commission has stepped up and showed leadership by proposing a coordinated and harmonised approach.
“If new state-of-the-art vehicles are blocked from being delivered with smart tachograph 1 devices, we will be preventing the operation of more environmentally friendly vehicles, jeopardising Europe’s CO₂ reduction targets.”
The new SMT2 devices come with a host of benefits. Compared to the smart tachograph version 1, the SMT2 includes additional features such as automatic registration of border crossings and the possibility for enforcers to view data remotely.
The SMT2 is a key tool for monitoring compliance with EU driving and rest time rules as well as with cabotage rules and even the posting of drivers.
“We invite the European Commission to establish a monitoring system for the retrofitting process. IRU will also establish its own monitoring system to be able to react on time should the retrofitting process fall behind schedule,” Marian added.