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22 April 2013 Dear FEDEMAC Members,

Re: European Commission (EC) Proposal to modify Directive 96/53 weights and dimensions of heavy duty vehicles. The EC presented a new proposal to modify Directive 96/53 on weights and dimensions (COM(2013) 195) on 15 April 2013 to consider new circumstances and technologies to facilitate intermodal transport and overall the reduction of energy consumption and emissions. The full text of the proposal can be downloaded at: The proposal focuses on the following elements: To improve energy efficiency and fuel consumption, and consequently reduce CO2 emissions, through: • •

installation of aerodynamic devices on commercial vehicles, updating the weight of coaches, in order to take into account the electrification of urban coaches and the hybridisation of the propulsion of inter-urban coaches; • To improve road safety and driver comfort through better streamlined cab design; • To encourage multimodal transport via an increase in the length of vehicle combinations for the carriage of 45ft containers; and • To improve the harmonisation of infringements and control procedures. The new proposal further clarifies Article 4 of Directive 96/53 which includes the provisions on the European Modular System (EMS). Important considerations built into the proposal 1. Energy efficiency At the present time, improving the aerodynamic performance of vehicles and the installation of alternative propulsion systems, hybrid or electric, cannot be done without penalising the carrying capacity of commercial vehicles. The hybridisation or electrification motor increases the possibility of being overweight and the installation of aerodynamic solutions jeopardise the maximum authorised weights and dimensions set by the current EU rules. Therefore, in a first phase the new EC proposal grants exemptions to the maximum vehicle length of up to 2m in order to accommodate additional aerodynamic devices without allowing an increase of a vehicle’s carrying capacity. The aerodynamic devices have to comply with a number of conditions relating to environmental performance, safety, infrastructure and intermodal transport. The devices will have to be approved by a Member State and authorisations shall be mutually recognised. In a second phase, length exemptions will be granted for redesigned vehicle cabins providing they improve the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle and its road safety. The requirements for redesigned cabs will be determined by a comitology procedure and will only enter into force after their adoption. The proposal also increases the maximum authorised weight of single goods vehicles running on electric or hybrid propulsion by one ton to compensate for the extra weight of batteries or a twin engine. The weight of 2-axle coaches is also increased by one ton. 2. Intermodal transport Currently, 45ft containers are limited to 40 tons and can be carried by road under certain conditions with a special permit or by way of a derogation from Directive 96/53. In contrast, vehicles can carry 40ft containers with a maximum weight of 44 tons in a combined transport operation without restrictions.

European Affairs Representative Federation of European Movers Associations (FEDEMAC) e.V. 17 Russett Close • Aylesford • Kent • ME20 7PL • United Kingdom Tel: +44 1622 791 358 • Mobile: +44 7720 553 451 E-mail: •

Page 2 The EC proposal grants an additional length of 15 cm for vehicles or vehicle combinations carrying 45ft containers or swap bodies in the framework of an intermodal transport operation. The maximum authorised weight is also increased to 44 tons in order to facilitate the development of intermodal transport. 3. Harmonising infringements and enforcement procedures The EC proposal also stipulates measures to harmonise and better detect infringements. Two years after the entry into force of the Directive, Member States shall put in place a system for pre-selection of vehicles to be targeted for further checks. Detection shall be made either by systems integrated into the road surface or through sensors on-board vehicles to measure the weight of the transport unit and the weight per axle. On average, at least one weighing per 2000 vehicle-km should be carried out per year. Information should be exchanged between Member States including the risk rating of the company operating the vehicle. Member States should encourage the installation of weighing sensors in vehicles. These sensors shall be required to communicate the information from a moving vehicle to enforcement authorities at any time. FEDEMAC welcomes any constructive views/comments from members regarding the new proposals as this will help to formulate the industry’s position.


Tony Richman European Affairs Representative


EC Proposal to modify Directive 96/53 weights and dimensions of heavy duty vehicles  

main proposals and the reasons for the proposal to modify existing Directive on weights and dimensions.

EC Proposal to modify Directive 96/53 weights and dimensions of heavy duty vehicles  

main proposals and the reasons for the proposal to modify existing Directive on weights and dimensions.