Spanish hauliers win big as industry-boosting measures are agreed by government

Long-term negotiations with the Spanish government resulted in an agreement over a number of measures covering areas like loading/unloading, lorry parking facilities, RDC performance, road tolls, and fuel costs. This represents a significant victory for Spain’s road transport association, FENADISMER. As a result, today’s scheduled pre-Christmas strike has been cancelled.

A deal that comprises a package of 20 measures was reached after 11 hours of last-minute negotiations, according to a statement released by FENADISMER yesterday. Within 60 days, the legislation needed to carry out the measures is anticipated to receive final approval.

The following are the most significant provisions of the agreement:

A loading and unloading ban.
With a few limited exceptions, loading and unloading procedures by lorry drivers will be restricted. Carriers will be required to pay an additional price in such exceptional circumstances, which must be stated on the invoice. Additionally, a state authority will be set up to keep an eye on whether the prohibition is being followed.

But the prohibition won’t go into effect right away. Businesses have been given six months to find and educate forklift drivers and other personnel involved in their loading and unloading procedures.

Rates for transportation could be linked to the cost of diesel.
Another provision of the agreement allows the carriers to tie the transport charges they charge their clients to the cost of diesel. All verbal or written continuous transport agreements are subject to the modification.

The invoice must detail how the final transportation cost was affected by the cost of fuel for this to be applicable. This is accomplished using a formula that is detailed on the FENADISMER website. There will be a grace period of six months for carriers with written contracts that employ a different fuel price review formula to modify those contracts to comply with the new rules.

Stricter regulations for foreign transportation companies operating in Spain
According to FENADISMER, the inclusion of the European regulation on displaced drivers into Spanish labour law will allow for a more efficient management of unfair competition from foreign transport businesses who essentially serve as letterbox companies in Spain.

Road tolls
The Ministry of Transportation has promised to uphold its 2020 commitment to refrain from enacting any road tolls or HGV taxes without first reaching an understanding with transportation associations.

RDC wait times will be capped at just one hour by law.
The law would limit the amount of time trucks can wait at RDCs to just one hour, after which the carrier will be able to request payment. In order to determine the cause of the issue and offer potential solutions, a probe into the present wait times at RDCs is also to be done.

Money for digitalizing road transportation and building new lorry parks
A total of €20 million will be invested in the development of new, secure truck parking sites, and another €10 million will be used to renovate existing parking areas to increase safety. Additionally, €140 million has been set aside for the digital training of transport experts and the digitalisation of transport enterprises.

Review of lorry drivers’ national insurance contributions
The Ministry of Labour will also investigate the national insurance contributions that truck drivers are already required to pay, which are paid by road transportation companies. Hauliers think that the payouts should be reduced given the recent decline in accidents.

The full list of measures can be read on the FENADISMER website.

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