News 22 Dec 2018

CER/ERFA/FEPORT/UIP/UIRR press release: Council abandoning European Combined Transport

The Council negotiating position (general approach) regarding the amendment of the Combined Transport Directive, adopted on Monday 3 December, would put in danger the currently existing harmonized common market for Combined Transport (CT).

Few weeks after the Graz Declaration of 7 November, which promotes a “Green Deal for Europe”, one week after the European Commission announced its proposal to turn Europe climate neutral by 2050 and right at the beginning of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, the Council position effectively disintegrates the European regulatory framework of Combined Transport. 

The Combined Transport Directive has always been an instrumental enabler of CT operations. The Directive in its current form may be imperfect, but it describes uniform rules for CT within the EU Common Market.  As 85% of CT trains cross at least one internal border of the EU, it is exceptionally important that the same rules apply on both sides of all internal borders within the European Union. The proposed changes to the CT Directive, if implemented, would undermine existing logistics chains.  

Furthermore, shippers, logistics service providers, CT operators, terminal managers, railway undertakings and wagon keepers have extensively invested into Combined Transport solutions. The return on these investments would be highly in danger with such a legislation.

CER, ERFA, FEPORT, UIP and UIRR therefore express their deep concerns on how CT will remain competitive in a marketplace where homogeneous EU-wide rules are replaced by Member State choices while being burdened by extensive new enforcement obligations. The associations issuing this statement call on the Romanian Presidency to ensure wins for Combined Transport in the impending trialogue process and to align more closely with the ambition of the European Parliament position.