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Dutch Transport Association (TLN) opposes liberalisation of transport

Jul 02, 2013
The Dutch Transport Association (Transport en Logistiek Nederland (TLN)) has recently voiced its opposition to further liberalisation of the country’s transport market.

A working group set up by the European Commission (EC) is proposing a substantial relaxation of domestic transport by foreign hauliers – what is known as cabotage. However, TLN is of the view that the socio-economic differences between the old and new Member States are still too great for there to be talk of anything approaching a level playing field.

 

The organisation said that opening up the transport market further at this juncture would have very negative consequences for Dutch hauliers. Moreover, the way in which this cabotage is upheld and enforced leaves much to be desired. There are clear rules in force concerning cabotage within Europe, but a lack of monitoring of compliance with these rules means that foreign hauliers are in fact being given a free hand in the Netherlands. Illegal transport by foreign operators distorts competition, resulting in Dutch companies being squeezed out of the market. TLN blames lack of funds and a lack of clearly defined priorities for the failure of the inspection bodies to control illegal activities.

 

TLN has always been an advocate of deregulated cabotage, but feels that right now it is still far too soon to further deregulate it in Europe. TLN President Alexander Sakkers, TLN president Alexander Sakkers commented: “As long as the socio-economic differences between the old and new EU Member States have not been reduced, unrestricted cabotage will have too much of a negative effect on the Dutch market.”

 

Minister Schultz van Haegen has announced even more cutbacks on enforcement in her budget for 2013, resulting in the budget being reduced by more than EUR two million. This will reduce the number of inspectors which the TLN believes is already too low.  “TLN fears that before long it will be possible to count the inspectors on two hands,” said Mr. Sakkers.

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