BCA discussions with EC
Bus and Coach Association (BCA) members have visited the European Commission Transport Department recently to discuss EU transport law. BCA members Martin Allan and Derek Hemstock with Karen Magill from the Federation of Passenger Transport Northern Ireland focused on the 1071/2009 Regulation. BCA asked the Commission to clarify their interpretation of the exemption of non-commercial. The Commission pointed them to the Judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case C-317/12 that further clarifies what should be understood as non-commercial carriage.
The clarification was as follows: ‘With regard, firstly, to the usual meaning of the concept of “non-commercial carriage of goods”, it must be noted that such a carriage occurs where there is no link with a professional or commercial activity, that is to say, where the carriage of goods is not performed with a view to earning income there from. As it is usually understood, the non-commercial carriage of goods therefore designates, in particular, the carriage of goods by a private individual as part of a recreational activity outside his professional activity.’
BCA explained that the UK authorities have exempted the Community Transport sector from this Regulation on the basis of non-for-profit equals non-commercial, the Commission confirmed that profit or non-for profit is not a major factor. If payment is being made it is commercial. Concerns were raised by the Commission over drivers being paid without the D1E entitlement and no Drivers CPC. For legal reasons BCA was unable to add any further comments.
The UK authorities have been challenged over this issue and the DfT responses can be viewed on the BCA website. The UK authorities have to respond to the Commission in August. In the meantime the BCA legal team is preparing documents for a legal challenge in the courts.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to BCA’s fighting fund can do so by sending a cheque made payable to Martin Lee & Co Solicitors to the following address: Bus and Coach Association, 26 Oakland Road, Forest Town, Mansfield, Nottingham, NG19 0EJ. The solicitor will send a receipt for accounts purposes.