Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Irish Haulage Legislation Expanded

Criminals WILL be penalised
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND - In response to reports over the weekend concerning the possibility of imposing strict punishments on criminals with road haulage licences Minister Noel Dempsey today published an independent report into the issuing of road transport haulage operators licences by the Department of Transport.

Dempsey also announced that he is introducing new legislation to strengthen the regulatory regime governing the future issuance of road transport operator licences.

The report makes a number of recommendations to strengthen legislation in this area and proposals to improve procedural and processing matters within the Department of Transport.

Minister Dempsey said; “In addition to the recommendations contained in the Farrelly report a recent review of road transport licensing requirements has raised questions about Ireland’s compliance with EU law in this area. The Department sought and received legal advice on the issue and it is for this reason that I am today announcing new legislation for the sector. It is imperative that we maintain the highest possible standards in the road transport sector.”

The new regulations, effective from 10 September 2009, that will automatically disqualify any operator from holding a road transport operator’s licence who has serious convictions in a number of specific areas including: murder, manslaughter, serious assaults, drug-trafficking, person trafficking, money laundering, sexual offences and firearms offences. The disqualification will apply if the convictions are within the last 5 years when prosecuted on indictment, or 2 years when prosecuted summarily. This legislation will automatically disqualify any licensee with any of these convictions, and their licence is automatically and immediately revoked.

Any such licensee is now obliged to inform the Department of Transport and return their licence and all accompanying documentation to the Department. The Department will be carrying out checks, in conjunction with the Garda, to identify those licensees that are disqualified under this new legislation. Any licensee continuing to operate while disqualified risks receiving a maximum fine of €500,000 or three years in prison, or both.

The Minister also announced today that he will introduce a further regulation that will cover other relevant persons working in licensed transport operations, such as directors, transport managers and drivers. It will provide for disqualification in respect of convictions for serious offences committed beyond five years by licensees or relevant persons. In preparation for the introduction of this second regulation, the Department of Transport will engage with the road transport sector and other relevant bodies in September with a view to introducing the new regulation in mid November.

To read the full report see: