• Professional News
  • 13 October 2014

Danish rules on road cabotage may violate EU law

The Danish Minister for Transport believes that the rules are justified, and he is ready to prove the case at the European Court of Justice.

The European Commission has sent a letter of formal notice to Denmark for non-compliance with the EU rules on road cabotage. Road cabotage is when a driver transports goods in EU countries other than the country in which he is employed. A letter of formal notice is the first step in potential legal proceedings.

The Commission's criticism
The European Commission has three points of criticism in respect of the Danish rules: 

  • The Commission believes that the Danish level of fines is unreasonably high. Under the Danish rules, serious breach of the rules may be fined with by to DKK 35,000.
  • The Commission criticises the Danish definition of road cabotage in that it does not allow for several places of loading and unloading in one cabotage trip. The Danish Government believes that the rules will be impossible to enforce if such scenario is made possible.
  • The final point of criticism from the European Commission is that documentation for international trips is demanded at inspections in Denmark of the foreign drivers. Even though the drivers may obtain the documents, for example, electronically during the police inspection, the Commission believes that it is an unreasonable burden on the undertakings.

The rules are important
The Government has refused to bow to the criticism, and the Minister for Transport, Magnus Heunicke (of the Social Democrats), is ready to prove the case at the European Court of Justice.

Magnus Heunicke argues that the rules are important and justified. He argues that the rules on the area are important in order to avoid, for example, social dumping, where low-paid drivers from other EU countries are sent across Denmark's borders with empty trucks.

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