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IRU acts to help the sector through COVID-19
Global | Geneva

IRU acts to help the sector through COVID-19

3 Apr 2020 · People, Prosperity

IRU has been working tirelessly to help the road transport industry navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, in cooperation with numerous regional and international stakeholders and partners.

Key advocacy actions

IRU’s main advocacy efforts have focused on ensuring that road transport can operate as safely and efficiently as possible given the current restrictions in place to halt the spread of COVID-19. 

As a result of IRU and partners’ work, the European Commission released guidelines on green lanes. These now need to be implemented in a harmonised way by each Member State, to facilitate border crossings for truck drivers transporting food, medical supplies and other vital equipment to tackle the pandemic. 

IRU has also been in close contact with the International Transport Forum to put in place a series of temporary derogations to the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit system, with the respective governments agreeing to: 

  • Mutually recognise and grant extensions to the validity of the ECMT Certificate of Roadworthiness Test
  • Treat with leniency and recognise the extension of validity of licences that have expired en route due to different administrative procedures in force, until the vehicles are able to complete the journey

At the same time, we continue to push for financial and state aid to be provided to road transport operators that are struggling in the current climate, notably in the case of passenger transport companies that have been facing an almost overnight crash in their passenger numbers and revenue. We are also in ongoing consultations with the European Commission, regional banks and global institutions, to discuss the financial impact of COVID-19 and to advise on the immediate financial support required by the road transport industry as a whole.

IRU remains in close contact with the relevant international organisations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the International Organisation of Employers, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank, to call for closer cooperation across the world in tackling COVID-19.

Free certification and training modules

We have made a certain number of our certification and training materials freely available to our members and to IRU Academy’s Associate Training Institutes to help them cope with the impacts of the pandemic on their drivers and their businesses. Modules currently accessible online include: 

  • How to support the prevention of COVID-19 infection, published by leading global health organisations, including the World Health Organization and the Johns Hopkins University.
  • How to manage stress and anxiety in these uncertain times.
  • How to stay productive and positive while working from home.

Establishment of the COVID-19 Information Hub

IRU has launched a dedicated COVID-19 Information Hub to gather all the relevant information, updates and guidance required to combat the outbreak in one place. Regularly updated with the latest news, it is an invaluable tool – not only for our members but also for the entire mobility and logistics industry. 

Free access to the Flash Info platform

On the Information Hub, the IRU Flash Info is now free to all during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing the latest updates on border crossing statuses and travel restrictions affecting road transport, this platform allows the mobility and logistic industries to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving goods transport and customs situation for the duration of current crisis.

Recommendations for drivers 

Published last week, IRU has put together a set of checklists for goods and passenger transport drivers to help them stay safe and perform their tasks effectively in a challenging environment. 

“Drivers and their employers are true heroes of the road at this time and we are doing all we can to make sure their contribution is recognised and their safety and livelihoods are guaranteed”

Umberto de Pretto
IRU Secretary General