RHA Messenger 01 March

1st March 2017

Euro VI cheat devices

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has called on the European Commission and national governments to take action against suppliers and users of devices that bypass emission control systems on trucks.

Euro VI trucks are ultra-low emission (according to Transport for London) but the clean technology is being negated by devices that can be bought on the internet for a few pounds. The current concern is over so-called AdBlue emulators that bypass the SCR system by physical or software means, resulting in emissions that are far higher than the permitted levels.

ACEA is calling for bans on the advertising, sale and use of any aftermarket device, hardware or software, which can be used by truck operators to turn off emission control systems, and increased roadside enforcement, with offenders treated in the same way as with defective safety systems.

So far, sanctions have effectively been limited to manufacturer action on warranties and service contracts if such devices are discovered during maintenance.

The RHA strongly supports the ACEA position and has been disappointed at the failure of both the UK government and the European Commission to regulate. 

 

Brexit Update with HMRC

On Tuesday, the RHA hosted a meeting with members and Treasury and Customs officials. The aim was to discuss the challenges presented by the expected requirement for new customs formalities on UK – EU road haulage trade and to suggest solutions.

The meeting arose out of extensive engagement the RHA is having with various government departments on the issues Brexit will pose. Further meetings examining the details of what will be needed to meet the government objective of “frictionless” borders are expected once Article 50 has been triggered. We will keep you posted.

The Times today reports that Brexit minister David Davis has highlighted the importance of being prepared to handle customs declarations after Brexit. We have been forcefully highlighting the need for HMRC to have whatever resources it needs to ensure lorries and the supply chain runs as smoothly as possible.

 

Brexit in London and Brussels

Duncan Buchanan is presenting the RHA perspective on Brexit to the IRU and other European road haulage trade bodies in Brussels today. He will be calling on other trade bodies to engage with EU politicians to ensure they are aware of the EU-wide importance to business of maintaining efficient supply chain systems.

Jack Semple is presenting on Brexit to a Business Department (BEIS) forum in London today, summarising our engagement with government on road haulage issues.

Member input is welcome at: brexit@rha.uk.net

 

Mobile phone fines increase

From the 1st March 2017, the higher fixed penalty for anyone caught using a hand-held mobile phone device while driving on the road will be hit with a fine of at least £200 and six penalty points - double the previous sanctions. Drivers could, alternatively, be taken to court for higher penalties.

 

A34 – must get better

The RHA’s Chrys Rampley and Rhys Williams have done extensive media work to support calls for improvements to the A34. It is part of a long-running lobby for upgrades, including meeting Oxford MP Nicola Blackwood.