In the future EU hauliers will be entitled to carry out freight transport operations in Finland for a period of seven days from the vehicle's entry into the country.
The Finnish Government submitted a bill on cabotage restrictions for approval to the President of the Republic on 6 August. The President is expected to approve the bill on 7 August.
The Act, which is to enter into force on 14 August, will implement in advance the cabotage restrictions included in the EU legislative package on road transport.
According to the Act, a haulier from another EU or ETA state is permitted to carry out, with the same vehicle, up to three transport operations within seven days following a journey from these countries to Finland. The seven-day period starts from the day the international load transported to Finland is unloaded.
Each unloading is regarded as one transport operation. For example, if a load that has been delivered to a harbour will be unloaded at three different places, the Act considers them as three transport operations. The haulier shall have reliable evidence of each operation. If no evidence can be shown, the transport operation may be discontinued. Further provisions on evidence of carriage will be given in the autumn.
Presently there are no time limits in Finland on cabotage operations by EU hauliers, i.e. on carrying out transport operations in another Member State. The current laws have impeded the functioning of the transport markets and the supervision of cabotage rules.
A clear time limit is therefore expected to improve the surveillance framework for the grey economy sector and prevent the creation of black markets.
In 2007 cabotage amounted to 0.04% of road transport operations in Finland. No detailed information is currently available on the number of cabotage operations but the data provided by the supervision authorities suggests an increase in the field.
An EU-wide statute on cabotage will enter into force next spring. The exact date of the entry into force will be determined by the publication date of the statute which will probably be at the end of the year. Finland’s own statute is planned to remain in force until that time.