Road haulage

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The professional road is the carriage of goods by road. In Germany it is subject to the Road Haulage Act ( GüKG ). It is carried out with vehicles such as trucks over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, both nationally and internationally with all types of goods. Since December 4, 2011, Regulation (EC) 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 21, 2009 laying down common rules for admission to the occupation of road transport operator has been in effect.

Definition of commercial road haulage (GKV)

Organizational chart for the distribution of road haulage
Approval for long-distance freight transport until approx. 1993

Commercial road haulage is the paid or business-like transport of goods with vehicles which, including trailers, have a higher gross vehicle weight (GVW) than 3.5 tons . For this, depending on the freight order and the type of transport to a certain remote location, many documents must be carried.

Road haulage is divided into the following areas:

National traffic, domestic traffic

One speaks of national traffic when the loading and unloading points are within the borders of Germany . For this type of freight transport, a professional access requirement is required as a permit and a national permit.

International traffic (cross-border traffic)

With international traffic, the loading point and the unloading point are in different national states. A permit from the European Union is required for this type of freight transport , for example an EU license or a CEMT permit .

Works traffic

Works transport is road haulage for a company's own purposes if the following requirements are met:

  1. The goods carried must be the property of the company or have been sold, bought, rented, rented, manufactured, manufactured, extracted, processed or repaired by the company.
  2. The transport must include the delivery of the goods to the company, their dispatch from the company, their movement within or - for personal use - outside the company.
  3. The vehicles used for transportation must be driven by the company's own staff. In the event of illness, the company is permitted to serve other people for a period of up to four weeks. With the amendment of the Road Haulage Act (GüKG), which came into force at the end of 2011, this restriction was lifted. The law now allows companies to use drivers who have "been made available to the company under a contractual obligation".

  1. The transport may only represent an ancillary activity in the context of the entire activity of the company.

Factory traffic does not require a license and is therefore license-free. The company only has to report all vehicles that are used in works traffic to the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG). It makes sense to have a corresponding certificate of factory traffic with you in every vehicle. However, this is not mandatory.

EU license and cabotage

German EEC license from 1994
Proof of professional aptitude and expertise, 1968

The EU community license (permit) is required for transport within the EU or through foreign areas such as the EEA countries and also authorizes cabotage transport under certain conditions . Transport companies are not allowed to maintain letterbox companies, but are obliged to maintain a company headquarters with an administrative office and a transport center in the EU country of establishment. An electronic register will record the legal violations and penalties of the transport companies and the Union countries will exchange the data with each other if necessary. Cabotage by transport companies from third countries is not permitted.

The EU license is issued as a permit for the commercial transport of goods for a period of up to ten years. Thereafter, the license will be extended in corresponding periods (Art. 4 Paragraph 2 Regulation EC No. 1072/2009). An additional or new certified copy is required which is consecutively numbered.

The use of rental vehicles is basically possible. Resident companies can use rental vehicles from EU / EEA countries and third countries. EU / EEA countries are only allowed to use rental vehicles that are registered in any other EU / EEA country.

Permission requirement

Anyone who wants to operate commercial goods transport as an entrepreneur based in Germany must have an official permit for this, unless otherwise stipulated in the directly applicable European Community law (Section 3 GüKG). Anyone who has a community license in accordance with Article 3 of Regulation (EC) 1071/2009 (previously Regulation (EEC) No. 881/92) does not require any further permission from German authorities (Section 5 GüKG).

Requirements for the granting of a permit

The following professional access requirements must be met in order to be granted a permit:

  1. Personal reliability: The entrepreneur or the person appointed to manage the road haulage business must guarantee that the company is managed in accordance with the statutory provisions and that the general public is protected from damage or danger during the operation of the company.
  2. Financial capacity: The company must have the financial means necessary to start and properly run the company, especially in a traffic-safe manner.
  3. Professional qualification: The entrepreneur or the person appointed to manage the road haulage business must have the specialist knowledge required to run the company.

The transport company must comply with the above Permanently meet professional entry requirements. If only one of the three prerequisites (financial ability, technical and professional knowledge, as well as personal reliability) is no longer correctly met, the license to exercise as a freight transport company and the EU license will be revoked and withdrawn immediately.

Customs procedures for road haulage

Goods and goods may have to be cleared for cross-border traffic. There is duty-free trade between the member states of the European Union and the European Economic Area ( European Customs Union ). For the cross-border transport of goods in the European Union , a uniform customs procedure for duties, excise duties, value added tax and other charges is required. The customs clearance of the goods is provided in the country of origin, which is now largely carried out with the help of the Internet ( “Automated Tariff and Local Customs Processing system " ATLAS , " New Computerized Transit System " NCTS ).

Before the Schengen Agreement came into force in June 1990 , there were barriers at the borders of the European Union . The long-distance drivers had to deal with time-consuming, bureaucratic controls, which in some cases severely hampered the transport of goods by road and thus made freight more expensive. The waiting times at the borders in Western Europe were often a further two to four hours before they were processed, despite the customs clearance of the goods in the country of origin and their sealing. At each border, the customs papers had to be presented again, which was time-consuming. The customs procedures were eliminated from 1993 on the EU borders within the Schengen states and now with the help of the customs processing systems "ATLAS" and "NCTS" at the loading and unloading points.

Organized crime target

Since 2006, every sixth truck driver within the EU has been the victim of a cargo attack with cargo theft. Across Europe, according to the Association of German Autohöfe (VEDA), the damage is over eight billion euros (as of spring 2016).


  • Thomas Merzenich: The harmonization of the load on road freight traffic in the EC. Shaker Verlag 1995, ISBN 3826552725
  • Gerd Aberle et al .: Freight traffic according to the new law. Special volume New Transport Law, New ASP, VBGLIAGL, AZB, Meye ABBH, ABB-EDV, AB-Kunst new goods liability procedure law. Deutscher Verkehrs-Verlag 1998, ISBN 3871542407
  • Hartenstein, Olaf / Reuschle, Fabian (Ed.), Handbook of the specialist lawyer for transport and forwarding law , 1st edition, Cologne 2010 [Verlag Luchterhand], ISBN 978-3-472-06196-0 , part 4: Public law, Cape. 20: Road haulage law, social regulations and road tolls

Web links

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Note: BAG declaration on commercial road haulage
  2. Leaflet: Papers to be carried in road haulage ( memento of the original from January 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (As of January 1, 2013) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Regulation (EEC) No. 881/92 of the Council of March 26, 1992 on access to the road haulage market in the EU ( Memento of the original of October 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 302 kB)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Verkehrsrundschau September 25, 2009. Article: New market and professional access rules
  5. Truck stops: With premium parking spaces against cargo theft , of February 23, 2016 , accessed on February 27, 2016