IRU welcomes the introduction of the transitional smart tachograph version 2. Set to become mandatory on 21 August 2023, the smart tachograph will introduce new features and facilitate the work of drivers, operators and enforcers.
At yesterday’s EU Road Transport Committee meeting, Member States supported the technical specifications proposed by the European Commission, enabling the timely introduction of the transitional smart tachograph version 2.
Timely introduction of smart tachograph 2
The smart tachograph version 2 was set to be introduced on 21 August 2023. However, a delay in the availability of satellite signals used to authenticate the positions recorded by the tachograph created technical and legal uncertainties.
Nevertheless, the Road Transport Committee supported the timely introduction of a “transitional tachograph”, as called for by IRU. The smart tachograph version 2 will be introduced on 21 August 2023 with all the new functions except for the satellite authentication feature.
IRU Director EU Advocacy Raluca Marian said, “The new smart tachograph will bring about significant improvements, such as easier registration of border crossings and the possibility for enforcers to perform checks remotely.
“This is a positive step forward in the digitalisation of road transport, which our sector highly appreciates.”
“Signal authentication via satellite is an isolated new feature, which, albeit important, does not affect the tachograph’s main functions. We therefore welcome the determination of the European Commission and Member States to stick to the start date,” she added.
What is next, and who will bear the upgrade costs?
The remaining questions are how the update of the transitional tachograph will take place once the signal authentication deficiency is remedied and who will pay for the upgrade.
A previous approach by the European Commission included a mandatory software update during the lifetime of the smart tachograph once the feature became available. This would have come at the expense of transport operators. Yesterday’s version included a clarification that made the software update voluntary, with the possibility for the European Commission to make proposals only upon further analysis demonstrating their necessity.
“We are pleased to see that the Commission and Member States agreed on the path forward. We cannot afford, neither now nor in the future, for costs and burdens of delays created elsewhere in the system to be passed on to the road transport industry,” highlighted Raluca Marian.
“This is yet another lesson for us that all legislative deadlines have to be pragmatic and realistic, taking into account the industry’s needs and realities,” she concluded.
As a next step, following Member States' endorsement, the European Commission will formally adopt the technical specifications.