The Confederation of Romanian Authorised Operators and Hauliers (COTAR) calls on the Romanian government to step in urgently to remove a legislative error that bans road hauliers from county routes, violating both the principles of competition and contracts already awarded to operators.According to a press statement released on Thursday, the legislative amendment of 2020 that makes these anomalies possible runs contrary to the principles of the European directive that should have been implemented in Romania, agerpres reports.
COTAR officials claim that the transport companies that won route assignments under Government Emergency Ordinance 51/2019, will be excluded from the market in each county, although their business licences are valid until 2023. "This is because last year, taking advantage of the pandemic, the lawmakers voted to amend the ordinance, in order to leave exclusively up to the management of each County Council the decision to replace the carriers, under the pretext of implementing EC Regulation 1370/200," reads the statement.
COTAR Chairman Vasile Stefanescu, claims that this regulation does not refer to "commercial routes, from which money is won, but to non-commercial ones, meaning those routes that no one wants to operate, because they cannot generate profit, and the government is obliged to provide subsidies so that areas of the country do not remain uncovered by road transport."
"The law should have solved the problems on the routes that do not have public transport of people, because the companies do not want to participate in the auctions, not making profit on those routes. The law was amended in such a way as to eliminate those who won allocation of routes and are on a licence that is still valid for another two years from now on, and to allow other companies to come in their place and receive subsidies from the Romanian government. Secondly, this law grants subsidies to commercial transport, although even the European regulation provides for their award only for non-commercial routes, on which no money is earned from this activity," said Stefanescu.
COTAR representatives claim that "the problem thus created will harm both the companies that have legally won the route assignment, and the passengers".