Access to the profession

Access to the profession regulation defines the requirements necessary to do business as a road transport operator in the European Union carrying either goods or passengers.

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Access to the
profession

Road freight and passenger transport operators in the EU must fulfil fixed criteria to access the profession

  • Good repute, to ensure adequate entrepreneurial ethical conduct.
  • Financial standing, which requires operators to have capital assets available every annual accounting year of at least EUR 9000 for the first vehicle and EUR 5000 for each additional vehicle
  • Professional competence, which requires practical knowledge and the aptitude of professionals in the sector by means of an obligatory exam with common arrangements, marking and certificates.
  • To have an effective and stable establishment in a Member State.
  • A transport manager must be designated by each road transport operator.

The new rules

The new Regulation (EU) 2020/1055 amends Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009, which regulates admission to the profession of road freight and road passenger transport operators in the EU, covering (up to now) road hauliers using vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes and commercial transport undertakings operating vehicles with seats for 9 passengers, including the driver, or more.

Undertakings engaged in the occupation of road haulage operator solely by means of motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles that have a permissible laden mass exceeding 2,5 tonnes but not exceeding 3,5 tonnes shall demonstrate, on the basis of annual accounts certified by an auditor or a duly accredited person, that for each year they have at their disposal capital and reserves totalling at least:
  (a) EUR 1 800 for the first vehicle used;
  (b) EUR 900 for each additional vehicle used.

Member States may require that undertakings established in their territories demonstrate that they have at their disposal for these vehicles the same amounts of capital and reserves as for HGVs.

Main new elements of the new legislation on access to profession

  • Inclusion of Light Goods Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009

The new rules extend the application of the four criteria governing access to the profession (effective and stable establishment; good repute; financial standing; and professional competence; with specific lower thresholds applicable for LCVs, i.e. for financial standing) to goods vehicles with a permissible laden mass over 2.5 tonnes.

As from 21 May 2022, vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes will require a Community Licence. Those companies will also have to keep a Certified True Copy of the Community Licence on board every vehicle. Cabotage, posting, tachographs and driving and rest time rules will also apply to LCVs.

  • Return of the vehicle to the Member State of establishment within a 8-week period

The rules governing access to the profession (Article 5, paragraph 1, b) require operators to organise their fleet’s activities in such a way that that vehicles engaged in international transport operations must return to one of the operational centres of the Member State of establishment at least within eight weeks after leaving it.

  • As from 21 May 2022, road freight vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes will require a Community licence.

Specific national rules of interest for all

The European Commission has set up the European Register of Road Transport Undertakings (ERRU) in order to facilitate the exchange of information on road transport operators among Member States.

Having a consistent format for this data makes comparison easier, would facilitate cooperation, and would make enforcement more efficient.

Full implementation of ERRU in all Member States should take priority.

Additional clarifications and sources of information

  • European Commission webpage on access to profession rules here
  • Relevant European Commisison Q&As