Committee Reports::Report No. 52 - Community Quota for the Carriage of Goods::30 May, 1979::Report


Proposal Examined

1. The Joint Committee has examined the following proposal made by the Commission under Article 75 of the EEC Treaty which relates to the implementation of the common transport policy:—

Draft Council Regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No. 3164/76 on the Community quota for the carriage of goods by road between Member States [R/3492/78(TRANS 182)].

2. The Committee is informed that it is not possible to say at this stage when consideration of the proposal is likely to be completed by the Community institutions. However, the Commission is seeking to bring the proposed Regulation into force on 1st January, 1980.

Bodies Consulted

3. The Joint Committee, in considering the proposal, sought the views of the Confederation of Irish Industry, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish Overseas Transport Association, Irish Road Haulage Association, Córas Iompair Éireann, Southern Cross Group and Dodder Residents’ Association. The Committee wishes gratefully to acknowledge the considerable assistance it received.

Existing Scheme

4. Under the scheme an annual quota of authorisations is allocated among the Member States. These authorisations enable the holders to engage in the carriage of goods by road for hire or reward between EEC Member States on a bilateral basis (i.e. between the haulier’s own country and another EEC country) and on a multilateral basis (i.e. between two EEC countries, neither of which is the haulier’s own country). Each authorisation is valid for a calendar year.

5. The quota for the Community for 1979 is 3,122 authorisations, of which Ireland’s allocation is 65 authorisations. The authorisations granted to Ireland are allocated to hauliers by the Minister for Tourism and Transport. The Joint Committee’s views on Ireland’s allocation for 1979 are set out in its thirty-fourth report (Prl. 7635) of 13th December, 1978.

Commission’s Proposal

6. The Commission’s proposal would enable Member States, by 1st January each year, to convert up to 10 per cent of their allocation of annual authorisations into short-term authorisations each with a ten-day validity period. Each annual authorisation may be converted into 40 short-term authorisations.

Implications for Ireland

7. The implications of the proposal insofar as the Irish quota is concerned are that it would provide a possibility for converting 10 per cent of the annual allocation of authorisations into short-term authorisations. Based on the 1979 annual allocation this would enable the conversion of up to 10 per cent i.e. six or seven authorisations depending on whether figures are rounded up or down into short-term authorisations. This would make available 240 or 280 short-term authorisations, as the case may be, for allocation to Irish hauliers. As in the case of standard annual authorisations, only one vehicle could be used under each short-term authorisation at any one time.

Views of Transport Organisations

8. Both the Irish Road Haulage Association and the Irish Overseas Transport Association (IOTA) welcome the proposal as far as it goes but agree that the proposed ten day limit for short-term authorisations is too short for Irish hauliers travelling to the Continent. Moreover the IOTA is worried that the mechanics of operating the system may involve excessive bureaucratic control. It would also prefer if short-term authorisations were not at the expense of the overall quota.

9. CIE, although it has reservations about the liberalisation of road haulage in the Community, welcomes the present proposal. It has, however, pointed out the need for guarding against possible abuses.

Views of the Joint Committee

10. The Joint Committee considers that Ireland’s present share of the Community quota is quite inadequate and it would much prefer if the proposed short-term authorisations were available in addition to our existing quota of annual authorisations. If this is not acceptable to the Council the proposed ten day limitation should be dropped in deference to the representations of the transport organisations. In the Committee’s view the duration of short-term authorisations should be left to the discretion of Member States. The Committee accepts the view of CIE that in the case of short-term authorisations it will be necessary to guard strictly against the possibilities of abuse.


Chairman of the Joint Committee.

30th May, 1979.