Hauliers push back against proposed European regs
European live industry association Pearle* has urged the EC to rethink plans to force hauliers, along with their trucks, to return to their country of origin every two weeks, saying the proposals could “heavily impact live shows”.
As part of a revision of EU regulations 561/2006 and 1071/2009, the European Commission (EC) is considering making it mandatory for drivers to return home every fortnight, and requiring their vehicles to also be sent back to base – “something that would prove problematic for transport companies carrying gear on longer tours”, according to a spokesperson for the Netherlands’ Pieter Smit Group.
Responding to the proposals, Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), which represents more than 7,000 live music and performing arts organisations across Europe, calls on European lawmakers to “to consider the specificities of our industry when amending such rules”.
“Most artists aren’t on the roads for more than a few days or a couple weeks. But the logistics of longer tours – for example in the pop music sector – are much more complex due to tight schedules and the need to carry high-value, fragile equipment, be it audio gear, musical instruments or stage decor,” reads a statement from Pearle*. “Against this backdrop, it is in the interest of both artists and their promoters to be able to rely on one trustworthy service provider who is familiar with the processes in order to minimise interface costs and to keep up with demanding schedules over the whole duration of a tour.
“Requiring drivers and vehicles to return to [their home country] in the middle of a tour would prove very disruptive”
“On long tours, service providers – including drivers – are essentially part of the crew. They have the possibility to eat, rest and live with other tour staff and artists, and can use the facilities available at the show venues, which are much higher standard than most facilities used by the general haulage industry. They also have the option to spend their free time in hotels in the vicinity of show venues.”
The new proposals, says Pearle*, “are compromising this model – not necessarily for a majority of shows for which performers are not on the roads for a very long time, but would be critical for a number of bigger, longer tours. Requiring drivers and vehicles to return to the establishment country of the transport service provider in the middle of a show would prove very disruptive.”
The association proposes an exemption for hauliers working in the live entertainment sector, to allow them to stay with tours for their entire duration, like other crew.
“We call on decision-makers to consider the specific needs of our industry, and to align the regime of logistics and transport providers who serve us with the one of our other providers, who stay with the artists for the whole duration of a tour,” it concludes. “This can be achieved through a targeted exemption – only from the ‘return home’ rule – that would specifically apply to touring companies.”
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