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ECJ decision: transport intermediaries are service providers

20 Dec 2017

IRU welcomes the landmark decision the European Court of Justice (ECJ) took today clarifying that Commercial Transport Intermediaries (CTIs) – Uber in this case - are not mere passive online intermediaries but rather fall within the field of transport, and must comply with the appropriate regulations. The decision is expected to have an impact on a range of platform companies in the transport sector in Europe and beyond.

The decision supports IRU’s longstanding position stating that providers of same transport service should be subject to the same rules. The taxi and for hire industry, in particular, needs clear rules and a level playing field that ensure a high quality, accessible, and safe mobility for all.

Oleg Kamberski, Head of Passenger Transport at IRU said: “In the area of mobility, the taxi and for-hire sector was one of the first to embrace innovation and new technologies. This led to the development of new business practices that challenged the existing regulatory framework. Finding a solution that allows both traditional and new transport service providers to compete in a fair way while meeting the service quality standards became necessary. Today’s ECJ decision creates a clear framework and direction for legislators, enforcers and the wider taxi and for-hire industry on the way ahead.”

Based on the principle “same service, same rules”, IRU’s Taxi and Hire Cars with Driver Group developed guidelines on how to address CTIs and make a clear distinction between real sharing economy players and this new category of commercial players – the CTIs - that offer or facilitate commercial transport services.

As expected, the Court’s judgement followed the opinion of the Advocate General published in May this year stating that Uber should be classified and regulated as a transportation service.