Access to profession

Since December 2011 admission to the occupation of road haulage operator and road passenger transport operator in the European Union is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009. These rules apply to vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass and commercial road passenger vehicles with at least 9 seats, including the driver.

4 criteria must be fulfilled before starting a business in the transport sector:

  • Good Repute. Manipulating a tachograph, for example, would be considered a serious breach of the law.
  • Financial standing, which requires operators to have available capital assets every annual accounting year of at least € 9.000 for the first vehicle and € 5.000 for each additional vehicle.
  • Professional competence. Assessed during an obligatory exam with common arrangements, marking and certificates.
  • Operator must reside in one of the Member States.

National authorities have to carry out regular checks to ensure that all the businesses satisfy these four criteria. In order to facilitate the compliance monitoring, Member States have to set up national electronic registers that are expected to become interconnected in January 2013. 

These databases are called the "European Registers of Road Transport Undertakings" (ERRU). Their purpose is to allow a better exchange of information between competent authorities of all Member States to track down any infringements of the commercial road transport regulations.