European Commission support for the transport sector
The European Commission has adopted a package of measures to provide significant relief to the transport sector by solving practical problems, removing administrative burdens, and increasing flexibility. This package includes measures to support the aviation, railway, maritime, inland navigation and road sectors, ensuring that no single player is hit harder than any other, as the entire sector moves on from the travel restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Commission has already responded positively to requests from 11 Member States for a temporary exemption from EU rules on driving times and rest periods that have been put in place. It is planned to give a positive decision to exemption requests from additional nine Member States in the coming weeks. The exemption will provide drivers the flexibility they need to keep goods moving around Europe, even if they encounter queues at border crossings, reduced access to rest, and sanitary facilities.
In the aviation industry, the relief proposal will address ground-handling services such as the authorisation of extension for contracts to avoid complex tenders, and allowing concessions that will prevent airports from getting blocked should ground-handling companies go bankrupt. The proposal also modifies air carrier licencing rules temporarily to ease financial problems linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the shipping industry, the proposal amends the regulation on port charges in order to give the Member States and port authorities the flexibility to defer, reduce or lift port infrastructure charges for port users and allow shipping companies to have the much-needed liquidity. In the railway industry, the proposal extends the deadline by which some Member States must transpose EU law on rail safety and interoperability. The delay will ensure the sector has legal clarity and can focus its time and resources on COVID-19 post-outbreak recovery.
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To access the complete proposal and list of temporary exemptions for each Member State, please click here. © European Union, 1995-2020.