Combined Transport Operations
A foreign operator making use of employed drivers for either cabotage or combined transport operations is required to pay his/her drivers an hourly remuneration corresponding to the Danish minimum hourly rate as the drivers shall be considered as posted to Denmark.
Solely the drive itself during the undertaking of the above travels qualify for the Danish minimum hourly rate. Thus, no other form of work qualifies for the said remuneration. You may find further information on remuneration under the posting section.
Scope of application
The rules on combined transport operations apply to road haulage operators established in any of the EU Member States or an EEA country meeting the conditions for access to the profession and the market and undertaking carriage of goods for hire or reward and combined carriage of goods between the Member States.
Only in the event that the transport operation is an international combined transport operation between the EU and the EEA countries, the said transport operation may be undertaken under the rules on combined transport operations. However, this does not apply to bulk materials but solely goods that are carried in a semi-trailer, a container or similar.
Time limits related to the undertaking of combined transport
The initial or the final road legs of a combined transport operation with points of loading and unloading being in Denmark may not be initiated before the international transport operation has been terminated.
Consequently, the said transport operation may be initiated upon completion of the international transport operation. The international transport operation has been terminated when unloading has taken place.
Subsequently, in Denmark, the vehicle may undertake three cabotage operations connected to combined transport within seven days. If the vehicle has crossed the Danish border with an empty load, the vehicle may undertake one transport operation within three days. The latter type of transport operation also entails a four-day-waiting period upon completion of the journey.
Definition of combined transport operations
A combined transport operation is defined as the transport of goods between Member States and EEA countries, no matter the origin of the goods or the final destination when the transport of the goods is by road as regards the initial or the final road legs whereas railway, inland waterway or the sea is used for the remaining legs when the latter exceed 100 km as the crow flies.
A transport journey in which the destination is a third country can also constitute a combined transport operation.
The initial or final road legs shall be covered either:
- Between the point where the goods are loaded and the nearest suitable rail loading station for the initial legs
- Between the nearest suitable rail unloading station and the point where the goods are unloaded for the final legs, or
- Within a 150 km radius as the crow flies from the port of loading or unloading
Any transport of goods along the initial or final road legs, by railway, inland waterways or by sea shall be undertaken by truck, trailer, semi-trailer with or without a tow vehicle, a swap body or a container of 20 feet and bigger.
- The transport of goods in a container for example by ship from China to Denmark and from Denmark by road for the final destination to be reached in Denmark may not be undertaken under the rules on combined transport operations
- The transport of goods for example by ship from China to Rotterdam (Holland) and from Rotterdam by ship to Denmark and from Denmark by road for the final destination to be reached in Denmark may be undertaken under the rules on cabotage
Transport with empty loading units
A transport operation consisting of empty trailers, semi-trailers, swap bodies or containers is considered to be a combined transport operation. However, in order for a transport operation to be subject to the rules on combined transport, the following conditions shall be met; the transport of the empty loading unit shall constitute the initial or the final road legs, and the empty loading unit shall be the subject of documented revenue, for instance in a freight document.
Combined transport under cabotage rules
If the initial and/or final transport operation is undertaken in Denmark and the driver does not cross a border, the cabotage rules stemming from Regulation (EC) 1072/2009 shall apply. Thus, undertaking unlimited combined transport operations is not possible in Denmark.
Without a preceding international transport operation that has been terminated in Denmark or in another Member State, it is not possible to undertake the initial or the final road legs of a combined transport operation with points of loading and unloading in Denmark.
Questions and answers on combined transport of goods
Is it possible to make a journey with an empty container when undertaking a combined transport operation?
The transport of an empty container is regarded solely as part of a combined transport operation when the empty container is subject to revenue documented in a transport document.
Thus, the empty container may solely be transported by road under the rules on combined transport when the said transport by road constitutes the initial or the final road legs of the combined transport operation. Hence, the empty container shall constitute the goods of the combined transport and, therefore, the container shall be transported as a combined transport operation between the Member States.
The carriage of an empty container prior to and after the carriage of goods is not considered part of a combined transport operation. Thus, the said journey is regarded as cabotage if the transport is undertaken by a foreign vehicle between two points in Denmark.
- As the initial road legs of a combined transport operation, an operator may drive an empty container from Rødovre (suburb in Copenhagen) to the combined terminal in Høje Taastrup (suburb in Copenhagen) if the container is subject to revenue documented in a transport document and if the empty container shall be transported by railway from Høje Taastrup to another Member State.
- Following the completion of a combined transport operation, under the rules on combined transport, an operator may not undertake a combined transport operation from Rødovre to the combined terminal in Høje Taastrup loaded with an empty container with the purpose of reloading the container with new goods. If such unladen journey is undertaken by a foreign operator, the journey will be regarded as cabotage.
May bulk materials that come from an EU or an EEA country and which are first unloaded at the port and subsequently transferred to a semi-trailer be transported under the rules on combined transport?
No. Only goods arriving in Denmark by truck, trailer, semi-trailer with or without a towing vehicle, a swap body, a container of 20 feet or more may be transported under the rules on combined transport.
What should be done if it proves impossible to receive a stamp on the transport documents by the port administration in a Danish port?
If it proves impossible to receive a stamp from a company at the port, other documentary evidence of a combined transport may be used. Such evidence could for instance be a ferry crossing certificate or other transport documents.
Council Directive 92/106/EEC of 7 December 1992