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12-day derogation for group tourism by coach in Europe

The passenger road transport industry, as represented by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), strongly supports the European Parliament proposal to improve the 12-day driving derogation for international coach travel in the EU, adopted as part of the revision of the regulation on the digital tachograph that will significantly simplify the regulations governing its use.


Brussels, 4 February 2013 – On the eve of resuming the trialogue between the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament on the revision of the regulation on the digital tachograph, the IRU calls upon the European institutions to support the European Parliament’s (EP) proposal to improve the 12-day driving derogation, (see amndment no. 128) adopted last July as part of the review of the EU Tachograph Regulation 3821/85/EC and proposed by IRU’s Member Associations.

Yves Mannaerts, IRU Vice President and President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council (CTP), said “The European Parliament proposal constitutes a significant improvement of the 12-day derogation adopted in 2009 as it greatly simplifies the rest time compensation requirements for using it. It is also a timely recognition that the current EU driving and rest time rules do not match the specificity and realities of the bus and coach business.”

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The abolition in 2007 of the original 12 day derogation and its subsequent reinstatement in a very limited form in 2009, was part of a long term process of searching for the best rules’ model for European bus and coach travel. This process continues today.


The new proposals simplify procedures for the post-derogation rest periods. Under the present rules drivers must take an extended 4 day rest period immediately following the use of the derogation that includes the lost rest days that would have been taken during the derogation. The new rules allow for two standard rest days to be taken with the remaining two missed rest days taken within the following 160 hours. This will give the industry the greater flexibility it needs to serve its customers.


“Our battle for a customer and industry-friendly 12-day derogation, is not just a symbolic one: it is a matter of survival for thousands of small tourism destinations and companies across Europe. We want European institutions to give us the appropriate legal framework to properly serve our customers, whilst naturally strictly guaranteeing road safety”, Mr Mannaerts concluded.


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