France to Introduce a €40 Driver Fee for UK Truck Drivers
The French government have put forward a decision to charge a flat €40 fee to each and every worker that operates in France on a temporary basis whose company is from outside the region.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) have broken the news as they state that French authorities intend to charge a fee of €40 per posted worker for companies providing services on the French soil which are established outside France.
The change is set to happen next year, and is predicted to come into play from 1 January 2018 at the latest. It has been reported that the fee will go towards the maintenance of a database set to handle all documents required by French authorities for foreign workers.
The FTA have reported that the move is a brash decision, and will ultimately serve as a restrictive practice, subsequently reducing the effectiveness at which UK logistics operators can work in continental Europe.
Pauline Bastidon, FTA’s Head of European Policy, said: “In practice, in our sector, this new charge amounts to a restrictive tax on international transport carried out by foreign operators. The fee of €40 per driver is excessive and, simply put, is a protectionist measure designed to close the French transport market to any operator established outside of France”.
Bastidon continued to state:
“It will disproportionately increase the cost of operating in France and could have negative consequences for international transport to and from the country. Coming on top of already burdensome requirements, such as the need to have a permanent representative in France, the decision to implement an additional charge on the working of international operators is nothing more than a protectionist tax benefitting the domestic French market, and is one which our members wholeheartedly oppose”.
“On behalf of the UK freight and logistics industry, FTA is calling on the European Commission to react strongly and speed up its ongoing legal case against France, to ensure that trade can continue to flow across borders in a seamless manner and to protect the integrity of the single market. Mr Macron’s new French government, due to be appointed later today, will have the power to reverse this decision which was made by its predecessors, and we urge him to do so, to ensure that the EU’s trading routes remain open and frictionless to all operators.”