Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Frequently Asked Questions on the Multilateral Quota

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Stamps from the customs authority

Is it mandatory that, while performing transport operations between ECMT member countries, a stamp from the customs authority of the country of loading appears in the ECMT logbook?

According to the ECMT rules set out in the "ECMT Multilateral Quota User Guide", Chapter 5, articles 5.10 and 5.12, the stamp may appear on the logbook, but this is not a compulsory requirement:

5.10 Competent control officials cannot require the logbooks to contain stamps from every transiting country but may decide to stamp the logbook after any control. The holder of an ECMT licence is not required to have stamps in the logbook from every transiting country.

5.12 The licence, logbook and “EURO IV safe", “EURO V safe”, “EEV safe” or “EURO VI” safe lorry certificate is to be kept in the vehicle and must be produced for inspection by the competent control officials on request. These control bodies may stamp the logbook consequently.

The Guide does not contain any specific requirement regarding the stamps from Customs or any other Authorities of the country of loading to appear in the logbooks.

It is therefore acknowledged that stamps on logbook sheets whatever the case may be, are not mandatory.

Recurrent Transport Operations

There are cases when, during the third bilateral journey involving the country of registration, at border crossing points of an ECMT member country other than the country of registration, controlling Authorities give a warning/penalty for misuse of an ECMT licence on the ground of interpretation of the term "recurring transport operations only".

In the "ECMT Multilateral Quota User Guide", the definition “Recurring transport” , Chapter 1 (page 11), stipulates, as follows: “ - Recurring transport: exclusive transport between two Member countries outside the country of registration.” At the same time, article 6.6 of Chapter 6 "Validity and Withdrawal" of the Guide says that:

6.6 Licences may be withdrawn by the issuing Authorities, in the event of serious or repeated infringements of the usage of ECMT licences or social or traffic rules, and in cases of insufficient use or use for recurring transport operations only.

It is therefore acknowledged that the bilateral transport operations involving the country of registration are not regarded as recurring transport and, therefore, shall not be considered as a misuse of the licence. Moreover, in the case of recurring transport it is a responsibility of the competent Authorities of the country of registration solely to define whether the licences are being used insufficiently, and take a decision on their withdrawal.

Certificates for Tractor and (Semi-) Trailer

Is it necessary for a (semi-) trailer to correspond to the same or a higher ecological standards as the tractor vehicle itself, as there are cases when, for instance, by some controlling Authorities, a EURO III or IV or V certificate for the (semi-) trailer is required?

As stated in the "ECMT Multilateral Quota User Guide", Chapter 9. The "EURO IV safe" lorry scheme (page 41), Chapter 10 - The “EURO V safe” lorry scheme (page 49), and Chapter 11 - The “EURO VI safe” lorry scheme (page 61):"

 ... minimum safety requirements are required for both the motor vehicle itself and the trailer. Therefore, a specific certificate should be filled-in for trailers when they are registered and checked for roadworthiness test (cf. Annexes 5 and 6).

These certificates attest the minimum safety requirements. For the trailer or semi-trailer to correspond to the emission standards of the towing tractor vehicle (i.e. EURO IV or V or VI) is not foreseen by the Guide and therefore, is not mandatory.

Licences on Board

Some control authorities of the ECMT Member countries require a vehicle that entered a territory of the given country with an ECMT licence to carry the same licence on board when leaving this country, either loaded or empty. There have been several cases when drivers have been fined while leaving empty the country without the ECMT licence they used to enter this country.

As stated in the "ECMT Multilateral Quota User Guide", Chapter 4 - Use of ECMT licences:

4.1 A licence may be used by only one vehicle at a time.   It has to be carried on board the vehicle between the points of loading (as soon this vehicle is loaded) and unloading (as soon as this vehicle is unloaded) for a laden journey or for the complete unladen journey, which precedes or follows a laden journey.

At the same time Chapter 3 - Issuing and Limits of ECMT Licences indicates:

3.6 ECMT licences are issued, depending on national criteria, to road transport undertakings duly authorised to operate by the competent Authority of the country in which they are established. Licences do not indicate the vehicle's registration number and are accompanied by the logbook.

That is, an ECMT licence should remain on board  the vehicle during the complete journey (loaded trip or an empty trip  considered as a separate full journey). Moreover, the  road transport undertaking is entitled to transfer an ECMT licence from one vehicle to another vehicle of the same or lower Euro category, belonging to the same undertaking. Consequently, performing a loaded journey under the cover of ECMT licence does not imply that the consecutive or preceding (empty or loaded) trip has been, or shall be, performed under the cover of the same ECMT licence as well.

An empty (or loaded) trip, performed without the ECMT licence between two ECMT Member countries may be governed by the provisions of bilateral (or any other, i.e. regional) agreement between the two States.

Translation of ECMT Certificates

Documents to be onboard a lorry: Translation of Certificates

As indicated in the "ECMT Multilateral Quota User Guide" page iii the Certificates carried on board a lorry should be filled-out  in one of the four languages: language of the country of registration, French, English, German, and be accompanied by translation into at least two other of these languages (the blanc certificates).

That is the translation may be only provided as corresponding blank form of the certificate, and it does not require to be filled-out, or stamped.

Interpretation of Article 3.16 by Austria, Greece and Italy

Austria, Greece and Italy confirmed that in the example below, Case1 is in compliance with their interpretation of Article 3.16, while Case 2 will be considered as a violation, and will result in appropriate penalties.

Case 1
Ukrainian registered truck loads in Ukraine and unloads in Bulgaria (first loaded trip);
Then it travels empty from Bulgaria to Italy;
It loads in Italy and returns back to Ukraine.

Case 2
Ukrainian registered truck travels from Ukraine empty to Bulgaria; 
It loads cargo in Bulgaria and enters Italy loaded (first loaded trip);
It loads in Italy and returns back to Ukraine.

Note: The ITF Secretariat and Member countries restate that the interpretation of Italy and Greece, joined later by Austria, regarding the first loaded trip is not in conformity with the Ministerial decision of 2005 or a legal reading of Article 3.16 (as clarified by OECD legal directorate).

International Removal Authorisation

Is the International Removal Authorisation Euro category specific?

The ECMT Authorisation for International Removals is defined as a special case in chapter 2 Liberalised transport (page 17 of the ECMT Guide) "ECMT Multilateral Quota User Guide", in the list of transport that are exempted from multilateral and bilateral transport permit requirements.

Model of the Authorisation for International Removals (Annex 2) does not contain any reference or requirements to a transport vehicle and its Euro category.

Consequently, the Euro III lorries as well as lorries of any other Euro categories can benefit of ECMT International Removal Authorisation and perform such transport operations.

The Guide does not contain, in addition, any requirements for the logbooks, or the ECMT certificates to accompany these Authorisations.

The Authorisation for International Removals has to be duly filled-out, stamped and signed by the national issuing Authorities.

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