The budget law keeps road transport in the pictures
The confirmation of a 240 million euro fund dedicated to the road transport sector was welcomed by all trade associations. On the other hand, the lack of resources aimed at renewing the National fleet and additional resources for motorway tolls came up against much criticism.
Despite late uncertainties and fears, there are signs of moderate satisfaction from the world of road haulage for the measures contained in the new Budget Law dedicated to the world of road freight transport. The law, which has just been presented by the Government, confirms the 240 million euro allocated to road haulage earmarked for motorway tolls reimbursement, incentives for training, tax benefits on National Health Service contributions, on insurance premiums and a flat-rate deduction on undocumented expenses.
The sector’s trade associations largely appreciated the measures dedicated to road transport contained in the budget law, but were critical about the lack of resources aimed at renewing the national fleet and additional resources for motorway tolls.
In particular, Andrea Manfron, secretary general of Fai-Conftrasporto, expressed satisfaction on the contents of the latest budget law "which meets many of the needs and demands of the sector", confirming resources for the reimbursement of excise duties on fuel. Moreover, "entrusting heavy duty vehicle MOT inspection duties also to private workshops is a great result, the fitting conclusion of a targeted awareness raising project towards the institutions", states Manfron.
Some doubts, however, have been expressed on measures designed to encourage the recruitment of young drivers because, while "appreciable in spirit", these appears rather "twisted in their application and quite limited in practise”.
However, road haulage associations were also quick in pointing out that two important measures are missing in this year’s Budget Law: "We cannot avoid highlighting with regret the absence of two crucial measures that were previously announced and aimed at promoting a total renewal of the circulating fleet and additional resources dedicated to reimbursing motorway tolls, both absolutely essential in promoting a cleaner and safer mobility".
The hope, says Manfron, is that the road-map outlined with the Government will be closely followed "with reforms aimed at safeguarding Italian companies from unfair competition and social dumping".
As mentioned above, the 2019 Budget Law extends the possibility of carrying out periodic inspections in private centres on vehicles with a total mass of more than 3.5 tonnes.
Strong satisfaction has been expressed also by Anita (National Transport Association). In the Budget Law 2019, recently approved by the Parliament, there are in fact two paragraphs that, according to Anita, could facilitate MOT inspection on industrial vehicles, which in some Italian provinces are seriously delayed due to a chronic lack of personnel. "In recent months - explains a note of the association – all road haulage representatives have repeatedly asked to allow testing to be carried out also in private workshops, just as in the case light commercial vehicles with a mass of up to 3.5 tons. Now, thanks to paragraphs 1049 and 1050 of the Law, which amend paragraph 8 of Article 80 of the Highway Code, this is possible.
MOT inspections are now also allowed in authorised private centres, but not all: vehicles carrying dangerous goods (Adr) or perishable goods under controlled temperature (Atp) will still be inspected by provincial personnel.
According to Anita this is "an important result that rewards our constancy and tenacity in pushing to obtain this solution, which represents a further step in drawing Italy closer to other EU states, a condition that, for Anita, must be viewed as a necessary policy for the country," said President Thomas Baumgartner. Who added: "I must acknowledge that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has responded to the enormous hardships experienced by companies due to the delays in routine MOT inspections, especially in some areas, stemming from a chronic lack of personnel and I hope that the times indicated by the Budget Law for its full implementation, are respected, allowing companies to face future inspections with greater serenity".
The president of Confartigianato Trasporti, Amedeo Genedani, on the other hand, expressed great satisfaction for the fact that the Law increased tax relief on flat-rate deductions compared to the same measures in 2018.
As far as the flat-rate deductions themselves are concerned, goods carried personally by the entrepreneur beyond the Municipality where the road haulage contractor is located on behalf of third parties, the flat-rate deduction of undocumented expenses for the tax period 2017, from € 38.00 previously scheduled, went up to € 51.00.
The deduction will also cover goods carried by the entrepreneur in the municipality where the company is based, for an amount equal to 35 percent of what is recognized for the same transport over the municipal territory.
Genedani recognized that the Minister of Transport, Danilo Toninelli, "has kept the promise made to the entrepreneurs during the National Assembly of Transport Confartigianato held last September", and at the same time, acknowledged the role played by the Deputy Minister Edoardo Rixi "who has maintained his determination to help small enterprises despite the pressures from several parties. Confartigianato, against the commitments made and the seriousness demonstrated in pursuing them, can only thank the minister and the deputy minister, certain that this responsible attitude will bring other good results for the category of road hauliers as a whole".
GENOA DECREE: FUNDS TO ROAD HAULIERS FOR MAJOR EXPENSES INCURRED
The Ministry of Transport confirmed its commitment to the Genoa decree allocating 20 million euro to road hauliers who, from August 15 to December 31, 2018, have had to face higher expenses as a result of the collapse of the Morandi bridge. The money is now in the hands of Commissioner Toti and will then pass to the Harbour Authority which will dictate the latest rules and procedures to instruct claims for compensation. In recent months, due to congestions, queues and bottlenecks on motorways and other road sections, road hauliers had to bear a significant loss of productivity, important extra costs and a forced reorganization of the workload.
The expenses allowed by the decree are of two basic types. Travelling to or from the port of Genoa with evidence of crossing of the urban area and subsequent disadvantages stemming from the additional road and motorway routes or logistical difficulties due to crossing the Harbour area. Transport towards domestic destinations that were forced to travel on additional motorway and / or road sections due to the collapse of the Morandi bridge.
On these measures, Giuseppe Tagnochetti, Genoese coordinator of Trasportounito, expressed a positive opinion both on the procedure, on the text, as well as the commitment of the vice-minister Rixi. The value of the compensation will be determined on the basis of the total number of trips that fall within the above types. "We believe however that it will be of a useful unit value - explains the association -. Operations will start as soon as the Port Authority of Genoa, entrusted with sorting out all the applications, will publish on its website the appropriate notice.