Cabotage and Haulage

Haulage generally refers to the business of being a haulier, in other words of transporting goods by road or rail for other companies or one's own company. Cabotage means the national carriage of goods for hire or reward carried out by non resident hauliers on a temporary basis in a host Member State. The haulage and cabotage rules in the EU are laid down in the Regulation (EC) 1072/2009 that came into force in May 2010.

This Regulation lays down common rules applicable to access the market in the international carriage of goods by road and the conditions under which non-resident hauliers may operate transport services within a Member State. The aim of the Regulation is to improve the efficiency of road freight transport by reducing empty trips after the unloading of goods during international transport operations.

Every haulier may perform up to three cabotage operations within a seven day period starting the day after the unloading of the international transport.A haulier may carry out one, two or all three cabotage operations in different Member States and not necessarily the Member State in which the international transport was delivered. In this case only one cabotage operation is allowed in a given Member State to be carried out within three days of entering that Member State without cargo.

For some of the new Member States transitional periods still apply and hauliers from these countries are excluded from performing cabotage in certain other Member States.