It is now four years since the implementation of EU Regulation 1071/2009. One of the major changes that came about following the implementation was the establishment of a national register. Operators may remember having to provide details to the Traffic Area office and there was a cut off date for transport managers with the old style grandfather rights to apply for the new acquired rights authorisation. The EU Regulation stated that member states had to keep a national register and make it available to other member states.
There are two key principles behind operator licensing, namely road safety and fair competition and the idea behind the national register was to assist with both of these. The making available of all national registers to other EU country authorities would assist our enforcement authorities with controlling EU registered vehicles coming into the UK, as it would identify those foreign operators who had been convicted of serious infringements or had their licences revoked, suspended or curtailed. Failure to implement the regulation fully would be a breach of a member state’s EU obligations.
However, four member states, Poland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Portugal have failed to establish a national register or make it available to other member states. The European Commission has now, after making formal requests, referred these countries to the European Court of Justice as being in breach of EU law, the outcome of which could be hefty fines.