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Digital tachos - success for FTA, April 23, 2004
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FTA Press Release

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Digital tachos - success for FTA, April 23, 2004

The Freight Transport Association is delighted by the success of its legal action in telling the European Commission that it would be held responsible for industry’s wasted costs resulting from the EC failure to produce a viable timetable for the introduction of digital tachographs.

A statement from the EC (21 April) has removed much of the uncertainty regarding fitment – or failure to fit – digital tachographs which, in any event, are not yet available on the market. FTA will now be seeking clear undertakings from the UK Government, and its enforcement Agencies, that it will be applying the moratorium on enforcement of the regulations, as provided by the Commissioner. FTA will also call on the UK Government to seek similar assurances from other EU member states and for the Department for Transport to act as guarantor for any fines picked up by UK operators working in Europe.

FTA is grateful to the UK Government and DfT for their clear support over these difficulties and in particular the need for industry to be given adequate time to equip itself. The earlier statement by the Minister represented all that was within the power of DfT to do at that time and FTA applauded that direct response to its requests for clarification and leadership, which followed on from its strong advocacy of industry’s problems at the meeting of stakeholders in Brussels held by FTA in May 2003.

James Hookham, FTA Policy Director said, ‘There can be little doubt that this action, coupled with that taken by FTA in instructing solicitors to advise the Commission that it would be held liable for any wasted costs, expenditure or damage incurred by the industry as a result of the failure to meet its obligations, has brought about this long overdue statement.’

FTA will work to ensure that the key elements of the transitional arrangements are observed in accordance with the Commissioner’s statement.

FTA campaigned for the earliest possible voluntary use date, and the latest possible compulsory fitment date, compatible with the practicalities presented by manufacturers. This EC statement goes a long way to satisfying those demands.

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