Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels

How will non-adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to the EU directives in the transport sector affect the transit potential of the country?

An increase of Ukrainian export to the EU cannot be achieved without the development of transport infrastructure. Therefore, the Association Agreement aims to bring Ukrainian legislation closer to the requirements of the European Union, in particular in the transport sector. The latter is one of those areas where Ukraine does not demonstrate any progress in adapting its legislation to the European one. There are many reasons – from unwillingness of the groups of interest to move to high-security standards in the transport industry to a variety of bureaucratic obstacles.

As of 2017, Ukraine had to adapt its legislation to 19 EU acts in the field of automobile, inland waterway and maritime transport. Let’s stop on automobile transport. Delaying the adaptation of directives in this area could lead in the near future to the fact that Ukraine will not receive the basic quotas for the use of multiple authorizations of the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT). They are distributed among the ECMT member countries, including Ukraine, and enable Ukrainian logistics companies to transport in the territory of the EU on the basis of multiple permits. Without them, they will have to independently obtain permits for carriage on EU territory of each cargo.

More concretely, Ukraine must confirm the equivalence of its legislative framework in this area with the provisions of the Quality Charter for International Automobile Haulage Operations in the ECMT Multilateral quota System, in order to continue to be able to obtain multiple ECMT permits.

One of the basic legislative acts is Directive 2003/59 / EC concerning the training of drivers of certain types of road transport for the carriage of goods or passengers. For its adaptation, draft law No. 7317 concerning the operation of wheeled vehicles has been developed. However, it has not yet been approved. It also does not fully reflect the provisions of the directive. The latter requires professional drivers who carry out transportation on commercial vehicles to receive certificates of professional competence (CPC). The presence of the CPC confirms a special code in the certificate or driver’s qualification card. The mentioned bill does not envisage this, and therefore, the procedure for obtaining a CPC is not written down to the end. Delaying the process with the adaptation of this directive or its incomplete adaptation will give the ECMT a reason to temporary restrict the number of permits for Ukraine or even to suspend the issuance of multiple permits.

Delaying the adaptation of other directives in the industry of road transport would not have such consequences for the carriage on the territory of the EU, as in the case of multiple ECMT permits. However, their introduction in Ukraine can significantly increase the level of safety of transport. They foresee the installation of special devices for limiting speed on commercial vehicles (not more than 80 km / h), the introduction of the European system of technical inspections of both commercial and private vehicles (when the technical inspection is carried out by independent service stations, but not agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs), the organization of the working time and vocation of the drivers.

In order to preserve transport infrastructure, Ukraine pledged to adopt Council Directive No. 96/53 / EEC, which establishes the maximum permitted size and weight for carriage. It includes the requirement of mandatory control by the carrier during the loading of road transport. However, this requirement has not yet become a legally binding norm in Ukraine.

Why the adaptation of the legislation in the automotive sector is so slow? Because those Ukrainian carriers who operate in the EU have long been introduced European norms. And the rest, who carry out transportation exclusively on the territory of Ukraine and do not plan to travel to the EU, are not yet ready for the transition to European standards. This process requires them transparency and additional finances. If we want to achieve any results in areas where Ukraine is not successfully implementing the Association Agreement, this should be the highest priority for the country’s political leadership.

Author: Liubov Akulenko, Executive Director of the NGO “Ukrainian Centre for European Policy” (Kyiv, Ukraine).

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